You Should Be Dancin'! Creighton celebrates it Missouri Valley Conference Championship and automatic berth to the NCAA
Greetings from the Hoodwood, where the locals are already going mad over basketball.
I will get to the spec here in a bit. But it seems like that there are already a bunch of things to consider.
Bountygate: Hits for a price
Having had played defense back in the day, I get the fact that big hits are a big part of the game. A defensive coach will work himself into a lather when talking about big hits. Other players will work themselves into a raging froth when trying to get each other motivated to make big hits. But now it seems that so-called bounties were being put out at the behest of former Saints defensive coordinator and current Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. The Saints have had a solid history of being big hitters and a feared defensive squad for it. But now you wonder how much of that was motivated by bonuses and bounties and driven by a need to hurt and injure opponents.
Look I get the fact that you are supposed to hit when you are on defense. I still hear my coach’s voice in my ears hollering at me to stick my man. I was a horrible tackler to be sure, but I threw myself into it just so Coach V wouldn’t yell at me. I envied the big hitters that the offensive players were rightly wary of. The big hitters were the ones that got the notice, and I think there is a fine line between big hits and dirty hits. Ive been watching with interest the defensive players debating the merits of big hits and what bounties would do the integrity of the pro game.
You know that Sheriff Goodell is looking at this with his legacy on the line. He has long been an advocate of "clean play" and the Saints are going to get punished seriously for this.
Kobe: Does he really need motivation?
I love how the press tried to hype up the fact the Kobe was playing with a mask on after getting his nose broken, yes it looks like something out of a low rent Phantom of the Opera. Couldn’t they make that mask with air vents? The media is trying to say that he was angry and wanted revenge on DWade for what happened. Yes the Lake Show won over the Heat on Sunday but if you really think that Kobe needed a broken nose to get motivated, you need to rethink your mentality.
Spec Sheet 3-6
This is basically a reprint of the Monday sheet with the two winners of the Colonial and West Coast Conferences added in, the real work will come in the next three and four days when the upsets and bid stealers come out big time.
Atlantic Coast (Conference Class-Power) Playing For Seed :Duke, North Carolina, Florida State, Virginia Needs Help to get in: North Carolina State, Miami,
Skinny on the ACC: North Carolina housed Duke in Cameron and has the top seed. But its North Carolina State that will need to get to at least Saturday to firm up their chance. Miami should be okay as long as they dont fall in the first round to Georgia Tech
Key Game North Carolina State vs Boston College Thursday TBA The Wolfpack had best thump the weak Eagles or they will not be going to the tourney.
Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Tournament : Mar 8-11 Philips Arena, Atlanta Projected Bids: 6
Atlantic Ten Conference Class-Mid Major Playing For Seed:Temple, Saint Louis Work to do: UMass, St. Joes The A-10 Spec is: I have three teams coming out here, Temple is way safe and as long as the Billikens and either the Minutemen or Hawks get to the semis they will be safe.
Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament: March 6-11 (First round Campus Sites) Quarterfinals-Finals Boardwalk Arena, Atlantic City, NJ Projected Bids:3
Big East Conference Class-Power Playing For Seed: Syracuse, Georgetown, Marquette, Louisville, Notre Dame, Cincinnati Work to do: South Florida, West Virginia, Seton Hall, UConn
Big East Skinny: Cincy is now totally safe, those Im still trying to figure out the tricky math that got them the double bye. They are now playing for seed. The water gets real murky for West Virginia, South Florida, UConn and Seton Hall these teams need to get deep into the Big East tourney or they could be sweating next Sunday. West Virginia and UConn may cross one another in the Big East second round with a possible bid on the line.
Key Game: Providence vs Seton Hall Tuesday 7p (ESPN) The skidding Pirates are in trouble and their tourney chances drop to virtually nil if they lose here. Big EastChampionship Tournament: Mar 6-10 Madison Square Garden, New York City Projected bids: 9
Big Ten Conference Class-Power Playing For Seed: Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Indiana, Purdue Work to do: Northwestern
The word on the Big Ten is: In spite of losing a heartbreaker to the Bucks, Michigan State will be the #1 seed in the Big Ten tourney. Spartans and Bucks share the title with them. The Badgers, Hoosiers and Boilers are safe but the real team sweating is Northwestern. They got a badly needed win against Iowa but still need multiple wins to get to their first ever NCAA tourney.
Key Game: Minnesota vs Northwestern Thursday TBA (BTN) If the Wildcats want to fulfill tourney dreams they had better not lose to the middling Gophers Big Ten Conference Championship Tournament: Mar 8-11 Bankers Life-Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis Projected Bids:6
Big 12 Conference Class-Power Playing For Seed: Kansas, Baylor, Missouri, Kansas State, Iowa State Work to do: Texas Skinny from the heartland: Texas is the only team really sweating, they faded badly against Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse and will need to get to the Big 12 Semis to garner a serious look. That and hope that there are no bid stealers lurking in the mid-majors.
Key Game: Iowa State vs Texas Thursday 9:30 The Horns need to get a couple wins to get off the proverbial bubble. If they lose they're likely done. Big 12 Conference Championship Tournament: Mar 7-10 Sprint Center Kansas City Projected Bids:5
Colonial Conference Size-Mid Major In: VCU Hoping For The Best: Drexel
Colonial Spec: No one will be dissing the Rams this time around, The Rams were lambasted by the so-called experts for making the tourney then made them all look like fools with their stunning run to the Final Four. This year they will leave no doubt as they won the Colonial title with a thrilling win over a good Drexel squad. I think the Dragons should get in, with 27 wins they would hard to ignore but they have a dredful strength of schedule
Colonial Athletic Association Tournament Champions: VCU
Projected Bids: 2
Conference USA Conference Class-Major Playing For Seed: Southern Miss, Memphis Work to do: Tulsa, Central Florida Oh Say Can You C-USA Spec: As long as Memphis and USM get to the final, they are both safe. Tulsa and Central Florida might need to knock off the Playing For Seed teams to get a serious look
Conference USA Championship Tournament : March 7-10 FedEx Forum, Memphis Projected Bids: 2
Horizon Conference Class-Mid Major Playing For Seed: Valpo, Needs Help: Detroit
Spec on The Horizon: The Crusaders ended the run of Butler to while the Titans knocked off the Vikings and likely destroyed their tourney chances. Winner here goes to the tourney.
Horizon League Championship: Detroit Mercy vs Valparaiso Tuesday 9p Projected Bids: 1
IVY Conference Class-Small Inside Favorite: Harvard Work To Do: Penn Spec on the Ivy Vine: Harvard has done what it could now the Crimson must wait. The last regular season game of the year will determine if there is a one game playoff for the title on Saturday.
Key Game:Penn at Princeton Tuesday 7:30p Penn needs to win to force the one game playoff for the Ivy title Projected Bids: 1
Missouri Valley Conference Class-Mid Major In: Creighton Going: Wichita State Missouri Valley Skinny: Bravo to the Bluejays! They won a thrilling final against potential an Illinois State team that had bid stealing aspirations. The Shockers, who were upended by the Redbirds in the Valley Semis have plenty of cred to get an invite.
Missouri Valley Conference Champions: Creighton Projected Bids: 2
Mountain West Conference Class-Major Playing For Seed: New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV Work to do: Colorado State Spec from the Mountains: Could the Mountain West send as many or more teams than the Pac-12? Believe it! The Lobos, Aztecs and Rebels are all tourney locks and the Rams are coming on strong at the most opportune of times. As long as the Rams don’t fall on their face against TCU and not get blown out by the Aztecs they will be good. If they beat the Aztecs in the MWC semis they’ll be a spot on lock
Key Games:TCU vs Colorado State Thursday TBA The Rams had better not stumble against a good Horned Frogs team or their tourney dreams will die like so many gamblers aspirations on the Vegas strip Mountain West Conference Championship:March 8-10 Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas Projected Bids: 4
Pacific 12 Conference Class-Power Playing For Seed: Cal, Washington,
Work to do: Arizona Oregon Stanford, Colorado, UCLA Spec from the left coast: The Huskies are the #1 seed and are pretty secure as is Cal below that, Im starting to have doubts a plenty. I hear talk that this league only really deserves two teams, I have 4 right now. But with bid stealers and upsets this could change, stay tuned.
Key Game: USC vs UCLA Wednesday TBA If UCLA loses to its lowly crosstown rival it can forget the tourney. Pac-12 Conference Championship TournamentMarch 7-10 Staples Center, Los Angeles Projected Bids: 4
Southeastern Conference Class-Power Playing For Seed: Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Florida, Work to do: Alabama, Mississippi State, Tennessee
Spec is Down South: UK is going the tourney with a #1 seed…old news. The drop off is steep after that, roller coaster designers are looking at it for amusement parks. Florida and Vandy are not real worried about their chances, but again the drop off after that is steep, Bama & Mississippi State are not the most thrilling of prospects. Im getting flak from SEC fans for only projecting 4 teams in from here, but make a case beyond Bama, even with Mississippi State close to 20 wins…I’ll await your comments, texts and e-mails…
Southeastern Conference Championship Tournament: Mar 7-11 New Orleans Arena, New Orleans Projected Bids: 4
Western Athletic Conference Class- Major Playing For Seed: Nevada Work to do: New Mexico State, Spec on the WAC: As much as I would love to give the Aggies dap and include them here, I can’t. The Wolf Pack are the ones coming out of this league unless they fall in the WAC tourney.
Western Athletic Conference Championship Tournament: March 8-10 Orleans Arena, Las Vegas Projected Bids: 1
West Coast Conference Class- Mid Major In: St. Marys
Going: Gonzaga Hoping for the best: BYU West Coast Spec: The Gaels won a classic final over their archrivals and go back to the tournament for the first time since 2010, weep not for the Bulldogs who will very likely make their 14th straight tourney appearance.
West Coast Conference Champions: St. Marys Projected Bids: 2
There are others in the mix to be sure. (projected winners in parentheses, projections can and will change with conference winners in Bold) Teams from the always dangerous Big South (UNC-Ashville) always are in the mix and can send multiple teams. Of course the champions from the following conferences get an automatic bid: Amer. East (Vermont) , Atlantic Sun (Belmont) , Big Sky (Montana) , Big West (Long Beach State), MAC (Ohio), MAAC (Loyola-MD), MEAC (Savannah State), Northeast (Long Island-Brooklyn) , Ohio Valley (Murray State) , Patriot (Bucknell) , Southern (Davidson) , Southland (Tx-Arlington), Sun Belt (Middle Tennessee) , Summit (South Dakota State), and SWAC (Mississippi Valley State).
Remember folks, this sheet is fluid, nothing here is concrete and we haven't even brought up the possibility of upsets. But those never happen, right?
Spec continues tomorrow on the NCAA Page!
My colleague showed me this sick alley oop from the Ohio High School playoffs between Thurgood Marshall and Kettering Alter. The clip is lengthy but about a minute-1:20 spot is this sick oop.
To Lenny Dykstra who was sentenced to three years for auto theft. Dykstra pled no contest to grand theft auto after a complicated scheme to defraud high end auto dealerships came to light. Dykstra had given fraudulent info to car dealers about either non-existant or unknowing cosigners. Dykstra was sentenced to three years in prison. It’s a sad downfall for a player that was once the epitome of a tough player who gave his all.
Well here we are again...The beginning of the week comes quick...The past week has been filled with a lot of tragedy...Tornadoes ripped across the country causing chaos, death and destruction...In North East Ohio people dealt with the aftermath of the Chardon High School shooting...Thursday good in people was on full display...I wrote about it HERE...And the Saturday, the people of Chardon formed a human wall to block the threat of assholes from the Westboro Baptist Church who planned on protesting...Those Westboro fuckers are complete ass-hats!
Then there was THIS news about the Browns Friday...What a joke!
In Sports there have been a couple stories out there...The New Orleans Saints possibly having a bounty system...I'm not sure why people would be shocked by this...It's Football...It's a violent game, and there are opponents that get under people's skin...And Football being a violent game, where you try to hurt opponents, makes it easy to hide the fact that you may be trying to actually hurt some one...
Spring Training is fired up, but I can't get excited for Baseball just yet...And the Indians have annoyed me already...This off season they didn't pick-up their option on the always injured, grossly overrated, strikes out too much, Grady Sizemore...Good I thought...He ain't worth $9 million...Then they signed him to a $5 million deal...Still not sure why since he was rehabbing a couple injuries...So what happens...He fucks up his back again...Has the same surgery Peyton Manning had on his neck, done on his lower back...Looks like he's done for the year...$5 million down the drain...
But there is one think that I really need to get out there...I fucking hate Basketball...I'm in my car, listening to Sports Talk Radio, and when local dolts aren't talking about what the Browns should do in the draft, they along with ESPN and FOX dolts are talking about Basketball...And Fuck Jeremy Lin! Seriously!
You fuckers in New York, and on the major networks need to wake up...There is only one sports team in New York worth talking...
That's right fuck-stains...The New York Rangers...42-15-7 is a hell of record, and they sit on top of the NHL standings with 91 points...With the best goalie around, Henrik Ludqvist, and a core of talented, young defensemen...Offensive threats like Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards, and their captain Ryan Callahan, who does everything on the ice...The Rangers roster is full of grinders, and brings a few thumpers with them...
They are all lead by their coach John Totorella...A no bullshit kind of guy, who expects the best out of all his players...He expects his players to have each others backs...And everyone on his team blocks shots...It doesn't matter who you are...You block shots, or you don't play...
The Rangers have been the most consitent, hardest working team in hockey...And they've done it all quietly it seems...Even many of the NHL talking heads haven't given the Rangers the time, and respect they deserve...Well it's time to wake up...The Rangers are on the road to the Cup, and they're a real son of a bitch to play against...Right Bruins? How about you Flyers? Yeah Philly, the boys in Blue own your ass!
You stick your average kicker, who said he wants to leave, with the "Franchise" tag!
For the second year in a row, The Browns have used their "Franchise" tag on Dawson...Seriously, that's just fucking sad....He's a good kicker...But come on now...Many Browns fans love Dawson...I mean he's been the only consistent thing the team has had since their return in 1999...This coming season will be Dawson's 14th with the Browns...After being tagged, he will make 3.8 million dollars this season...That seems like too much for a 37 year old kicker, that didn't plan on returning to the Browns, and started to show signs last year, of losing some of his leg strength and consistency...
Shit, 3.8 million dollars for any fucking kicker is too much...I guess that's the going rate for making a guy live half the year in Cleveland.
Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. As we grind trough another week, it is a good time to stop and enjoy the bonus day on the calendar. Every four years, we add a day to our February calendar and today is that day..
Beeze always says have a week and truthfully, I feel like I have already put in a complete week. We are merging with another company and the process has been very faulty. I can't tell you how much I miss the mortgage world of years past. This compliance driven "era" is a pain. I have felt like Bill Murray in Ground Hog Day the past week...each day just sucked with no improvements. Hopefully today will be better. As I am late posting this, I better get in to the sports part of my blog.
As this is the "offseason" for football, I thought I would drop in a discussion of lifting. Each year, I have watched my son and his friends work their ass off during the spring in the weight room. My 180 something pound son is now squatting 335, benching 260 and power cleaning 270. As fans, we do not see the work that athletes put into their sport. It is a different world now. Athletes have a formulated plan to maximize their bodies potential. Do you know who LaRon Landry is? I saw a picture of him last week and I was astounded. Landry is a safety for the Redskins and apparently he lives in the weight room.
Does this look like a safety to you? Holy crap! This is an NFL safety? How would you like to go across the middle with this beast waiting for you? Landry is a free agent...
Spring is also baseball season. Football players that also play baseball do not go to baseball class, but continue to workout with the football team. After school, the players bolt for the locker room to change and head to the baseball field to join the practice already in progress. This year has been tough as the baseball coach has been requesting that my son be able to change his schedule to join the baseball class. Since the football coach is also the athletic director, you already know how this worked out. Being a two sport athlete is a tough gig, but I truly believe that my son is a better baseball player because he also plays football.
My son's high school baseball season kicked off last Thursday with a 6 game tournament. The team played well in spots, but the coach used a different lineup for each game. Baseball is an interesting game. It is a team game, but is also an individual test between pitcher and hitter. Blake began the season right with 2 HR's 3 triples and 2 doubles for the six games. He also had a sac fly and walked three times. His average for the season was .476 until last night. He went 2 for 3 last night with a double and a HR and now has 16 RBIs for the young season. There was a Twins scout at the Thursday game and he asked my wife and I a bunch of questions about Blake. There is a showcase tournament at Minute Maid in August that he would like Blake to attend. We contacted the clearing house folks for the NCAA and they have scheduled an interview with us on Saturday with one of their national scouts. I could not be more proud of my son as I know how hard he has worked. Last year was frustrating as I could see how close he was to being the hitter I knew he could be. Now, if the team can start winning, it will truly be a fantastic season. We lost our first district game last night 9 to 7. It was 9 to 3 going in to the bottom of the 7 inning, so we gave a gutsy effort to come back. We had the winning run to the plate before we ran out of gas. Our pitchers let us down a bit in hitting 5 and walking 6. It always comes down to the pitching...
Here are a few videos:
Blake and his guys are doing a bow and arrow thing this year. I sort of like it...
Here is Ben Johnson just crushing a ball over the center field wall. It is impossible to show how far this ball went. Ben has signed to play baseball at Texas next season. He is a really talented kid.
I am not even sure if baseball is Ben's best sport. I have watched this kid and cannot believe that Texas did not sign him to play QB.
This may be the one that I was most proud of, with two outs...Blake comes through with a big double to left.
I knew this was gone when it left his bat...he was mad that he hit an HR as he felt a base hit would have served the team better. There is something about clearing the bases during a rally that makes it hard to get started again. His teammates managed to keep it going, only just coming up short.
Did you know that Wade Boggs drinks beer and eats chicken?
Did you know that Andre could do all that and more...
Had to add this. You have probably seen Augie lose his shit before, but the South Park clip was too good to pass up.
That is all I have today. But I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey...
"Here's a good tip for when you go to the beach: A sand dollar may look like a nice cracker that someone left, but trust me, they don't taste like it."
"As we were driving, we saw a sign that said 'Watch For Rocks.' Marta said it should read 'Watch For PRETTY Rocks.' I told her she should write in her suggestion to the highway department, but she started saying it was a joke---just to get out of writing a simple letter! And I thought I was lazy!"
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own...