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College Football Expansion: Why? PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jeff   
Saturday, 12 June 2010 09:12
Of course we all know the answer to the question why, begins & ends with money. I get it, and it's easy for me to say, leave all that money on the table and don't go after it. But it bothers me that universities and their leaders always preach all this bullshit about academics & caring about the true student athlete. Give me a break. It wouldn't bother me so much if they weren't so two-faced about it.

I for one am not excited about all of this expansion. I think it's a bad idea and it's going to have a negative long-term effect on the popularity of college football. Having said that, I've always wanted the Big Ten (11), Pac-10, Big East & Mountain West to add more teams & get up to 12 teams each. But I think 14-16 teams in a conference is fundamentally too many for college football. But of course, b/c it's all about the money, it looks like it's an inevitability.

So far, the first two moves have been Nebraska to the Big Ten (now 12) and Colorado to the Pac-10. Before Colorado went to the Pac-10, I think the scenario that would have made the most sense is this:

The SEC & ACC stay the same (they obviously both already have 12 teams).  With the addition of Nebraska, the Big Ten now has 12 teams, so they are set. What I hoped would have happened, but I knew it wouldn't, is for the Big 12 to add TCU to replace Nebraska, getting them back to 12 teams. Then, the Pac-10 could add Boise State & Utah to get to 12. And the Big East could add Notre Dame & three other schools (like UCF, Navy, East Carolina, etc) and reach 12 teams. I think that scenario would have been great. I think having seven, 12 team conferences would have been a better step in the right direction, and possibly get us closer to a playoff. That's my one caveat with all of this. If all this expansion & creation of super conferences eventually gets us a playoff, then I am all for it. But I'm not holding my breath.

So, since the greedy-ass college presidents are hell-bent on creating super conferences, and for now there's no playoff in sight, this is how I hope it goes.

- The Big Ten, in addition to Nebraska, would add Notre Dame and 3 more teams from the Big 12 & Big East to reach 16 teams.
- The Pac-10, in addition to Colorado, would add 5 more teams from the Big 12 to reach 16 teams (which from the looks of it, will be Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech & possibly Texas A&M). Although, there's word that Texas A&M is more interested in joining the SEC. So we'll see how this plays out.
- The remaining Big 12 would merge with the Mountain West, which now has Boise State, & a few more WAC teams to reach 16.
- The SEC would take FSU, Miami, Clemson & Georgia Tech from the ACC to reach 16.
- The remaining ACC would merge with the remaining Big East, plus possibly a team from Conference USA (in this scenario, UCF).

So we'd have five, 16 team conferences. Here's how it would look:

The new "Big Ten"
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Iowa State
Michigan
Michigan State
Minnesota
Missouri
Nebraska

Northwestern
Notre Dame
Ohio State
Penn State
Purdue
Rutgers
Wisconsin

The new "Pac-10"
Arizona
Arizona State
California
Colorado
Oklahoma
Oklahoma State

Oregon
Oregon State
Stanford
Texas
Texas A&M
Texas Tech

UCLA
USC
Washington
Washington State

The new "Big 12/MWC"
Air Force
Baylor
Boise State
Brigham Young
Colorado State
Fresno State
Houston

Kansas
Kansas State
New Mexico
New Mexico State
San Diego State
TCU
UNLV
Utah
Wyoming


The new "SEC"
Alabama
Arkansas
Auburn
Clemson
Florida
Florida State
Georgia
Georgia Tech
Kentucky
LSU
Miami
Mississippi
Mississippi State
South Carolina
Tennessee
Vanderbilt

The new "ACC/Big East"
Boston College
Cincinnati
Connecticut

Duke
Louisville
Maryland
North Carolina
North Carolina State
Pittsburgh
South Florida
Syracuse
UCF

Virginia
Virginia Tech
Wake Forest
West Virginia

I know there's no way in hell it's going to go like this. There is so much more that has to play out. In the end, I'm a huge fan of college football, and that's not going to change. But I sincerely think this period of change will be looked back upon as a really bad decision. It's obvious what the biggest problem with college football is the BCS & lack of a playoff. But of course, that's not what they are focusing on. We'll see how this all shakes out. Whether we like it or not, it's happening. And I must admit, even though I'm not happy about it, all of this change is interesting as hell.
 
16 and counting... PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jeff   
Friday, 12 February 2010 00:28
I know, I know, it's been over a week since Roger Federer won the 2010 Australian Open. Sorry for the tardiness, I've just had a lot going on. So without further ado, here's another piece about the man, the myth, the legend...the great...Roger Federer.

Roger Federer won his fourth Australian Open title (and 16th overall Grand Slam title, extending his own record) by defeating Andy Murray (6-3, 6-4, 7-6). While I'm a huge Federer fan, there was still a small part of me that would have liked to have seen Murray pull off the upset. Not only would it have been Murray's first Grand Slam title, but it would have also snapped an amazing streak of 74 years since the last British man to win a Grand Slam (1936 for those without an abacus). Murray is already making great strides though. At only 22, he has already become the first British man in the Open era (which began in 1968) to reach two Grand Slam finals. I hope Murray eventually wins one. I'm sure he will (especially if Rafael Nadal continues to get injured and Federer retires).

It was just last year at the Australian Open, when Federer broke down crying during the trophy presentation, after losing an epic 5-set match against Nadal. That's one of the reasons I really like Federer, because he's not afraid to show his emotions. A lot of people think Federer is conceded and smug, but the fact that he showed that much emotion in front of his bitter rival and everybody watching, showed me how passionate he is and how much he really cares.

This year though, it was Murray that was choking back tears. This made me like Murray even more, and I'll continue to root for him in the future. It also led to a good line by Murray, when he said, “I can cry like Roger. It’s just a shame I can’t play like him.” This reminded me of a similar, but more comical quote by Robin Soderling at last year's French Open. After Federer won, during Soderling's runner-up speech, he told Federer, "My coach and I were joking before the match. You know you've beat me 9 times in a row. But nobody beats me 10 times in a row."

Federer is just unbelievable. I hope he can stay in this form for a while longer. It's an honor to witness arguably the best tennis player of all-time (not arguably if you ask me). There's no doubt, that when healthy, Nadal has Federer's number. And although he's Federer's nemesis, I like Nadal. I hope he gets healthy and stays that way. We'll just have to wait and see. But as far as all-time greatness is concerned, I think Federer is the best tennis player to ever walk this planet. He is just incredible. I know -- even though he is still winning right now -- that he is past his prime. I hope I can see at least a few more years of his legendary play though.

Finally, I'd like to take a moment to bombard you with a list of some of Federer's records & accomplishments. I fully expect none of you to read all of this, but I enjoyed looking it up anyway. Just take a look at some of this stuff, it's mind-boggling.

  • Federer has won 16 Grand Slam titles, extending his own record. The previous all-time male record was 14, held by Pete Sampras (Federer won 16 majors in a span of 27 majors, while Sampras won 14 in 45 majors).
  • Federer has won 6 Wimbledons, 5 US Opens, 4 Australian Opens and 1 French Open.
  • Federer is currently setting an all-time record, by reaching the finals in 18 out of the last 19 Grand Slam tournaments (2005 Wimbledon - present, excluding the 2008 Australian Open).
  • Federer has reached an all-time male record 23 consecutive Grand Slam semifinals (2004 Wimbledon - present). Breaking the previous male record of 10 consecutive Grand Slam semifinals (shared by Ivan Lendl and Rod Laver).
  • Federer is the only male player in tennis history to win at least five consecutive titles at two different Grand Slam tournaments (2003–07 Wimbledon, 2004–08 US Open).
  • Federer is the only male player in tennis history to win the same two Grand Slam tournaments back to back for four consecutive years (2004–07 Wimbledon and US Open).
  • By winning the 2010 Australian Open, Federer became the only male tennis player to win three different Grand Slam tournaments at least four times each.
  • Federer is the only male player in tennis history to win at least two Grand Slam titles for four consecutive years and five years overall (2004–07, 2009).
  • Federer is the only male player in tennis history to win three Grand Slam tournaments in a calendar year three different times in his career (2004, 2006, 2007).
  • Federer is the sixth man to win all four Grand Slam titles during his career. And only the third man to win all four in the open era (on three different surfaces; hard, clay, and grass).
  • Federer's 16 Grand Slams in 8 years (2003-10) is an all-time male record (Sampras won 14 Grand Slams in the span of 13 years).
  • Federer is only the third man to win at least one Grand Slam per year for eight consecutive years (2003-10).
  • As of the 2010 Australian Open, Federer has appeared in an all-time male record 22 Grand Slam finals (the former record was 19, by Lendl).
  • Federer is the only male player in tennis history to reach the final of all four Grand Slam tournaments in back to back calendar years and three time overall (2006–07, 2009).
  • Federer reached an all-time male record ten consecutive Grand Slam finals (2005 Wimbledon - 2007 US Open). Breaking the previous male record of seven set by Jack Crawford in the 1930's. The previous open era record was four (shared by Laver & Andre Agassi). At the 2008 French Open, Federer began another streak of eight consecutive Grand Slam finals (2008 French Open - current).
  • Federer is the only male player in tennis history to reach at least three Grand Slam finals for four consecutive calendar years and five overall (2004, 2006-09).
  • Federer is the only man in history to reach seven consecutive Wimbledon finals (2003–09).
  • Federer is the only male player to reach at least six consecutive finals at two different Grand Slam tournaments (2003–09 Wimbledon, 2004–09 US Open).
  • Federer is the only male player in tennis history to reach at least four consecutive finals at three different Grand Slam tournaments (2006–09 French Open, 2003–09 Wimbledon, 2004–09 US Open).
  • Federer is the only male player to reach the final of all four Grand Slam singles tournament at least four times.
  • Federer is the first male player to appear in the French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open finals in a calendar year for four consecutive years (2006–09).
  • Federer is the first male player to appear in back to back Wimbledon and US Open finals in a calendar year for six consecutive years (2004-09).
  • Federer is the only male player in tennis history to reach at least five consecutive semifinals at all four Grand Slam tournaments.
  • Federer's 40 consecutive match wins at the US Open (2004–09) are an open era male record.
  • Federer is the only player to win 40 consecutive matches at two different Grand Slams (2003-08 Wimbledon and 2004-09 US Open). He is also the only player to win 19 consecutive matches at three different Grand Slams (2006-08 Australian Open).
  • Federer has either won or lost to the eventual champion in a record 23 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments (2004 Wimbledon - current).
  • Federer holds the record (male or female) for being the #1 ranked player in the World at 237 consecutive weeks. The previous male record of 160 consecutive weeks was held by Jimmy Connors; and the all-time female record is 186 consecutive weeks, held by Steffi Graf.
  • Federer is the first player to finish the year as a top two player in the world for seven consecutive years (2003-09).
 
Channel John Lennon for a moment & just imagine... PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jeff   
Tuesday, 05 January 2010 10:39
...a World with a D-I football playoff system. Yeh, yeh, we'll eventually get to "living for today" & "living life in peace." Let's fix the BCS first though. I've been enjoying the bowl games, but imagine how much more incredible they'd be if some of them meant even more. I noticed something yesterday that I thought was interesting. I hear all the time that the bowl system is so great & revs up so much interest, and that a playoff would ruin that.

Well, let's test that theory. My favorite show on ESPN is PTI. They cover all the big stories going on in sports. So I was watching yesterday's show, and you know what I noticed after it finished? Following a huge week/weekend of college football bowl games, including the Rose Bowl & Sugar Bowl. Guess how much time they spent talking about any of that. The answer would be 0 minutes & 0 seconds. You know why? Because in the end, 33 of the 34 bowl games really don't matter & they have no bearing on the National Championship.

It's so obvious that a playoff is needed. I'm getting a bit tired/frustrated talking about it, but I won't stop. Following the Fiesta Bowl last night, I began thinking about how huge next weekend would be if there was a playoff. So I mocked-up a little bracket, just for the hell of it. I'm in favor of an 8-team playoff & I'm not in favor of having any byes. So this isn't exactly what I want. Ideally, Ohio State & Oregon would also be involved, but like I said, this was just a quick idea, using 6 teams. But again, anything like this would be better than the BCS. Where you have Boise State go 14-0 -- defeating the Pac-10 Champion, Oregon, and the Mountain West Champion, TCU; along with 4 other bowl teams -- yet they won't even sniff a share of the National Championship. And they sure as hell won't be given the opportunity to win one on the field.

Okay, that's enough, I'm done. Even though it's frustrating, I love looking at & daydreaming about stuff like this. What can I can say? I'm a glutton for punishment. Just imagine...
 
UFC 107 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jeff   
Thursday, 10 December 2009 13:14
UFC 107 will be held Saturday night in Memphis. There doesn't seem to be much hype surrounding it, but it's a pretty damn good card. Any time there's one of the best fighters in the history of MMA on a card, I automatically get more excited. While I'm not exactly a huge fan of BJ Penn's, I can't deny his greatness. His only losses have come from other former/past/current champions: Georges St. Pierre, Lyoto Machida, Matt Hughes & Jens Pulver. Penn is the current UFC Lightweight Champion. In fact, his last loss at this weight class was almost 8 years ago (to Pulver). Penn has defeated the likes of Hughes, Kenny Florian, Sean Sherk, Joe Stevenson, Pulver, Renzo Gracie & Takanori Gomi, Matt Sera & Caol Uno.

For this title fight, Penn will be taking on Diego Sanchez. Sanchez was a very good welterweight fighter, but recently dropped down to lightweight. Sanchez has an overall record of 21-2, and is 4-0 since moving down to lightweight. Sanchez's only losses came to Jon Fitch & Josh Koscheck; two very good fighters. And Sanchez has victories over Clay Guida, Joe Stevenson, Florian, Nick Diaz, Karo Parisyan, Joe Riggs & John Alessio. I'm not saying Sanchez is nearly as good as GSP, but his similar size & strength could possibly pose a problem for Penn. When/if the fight goes to the ground, if Sanchez can avoid Penn's strong submission skills, there's a chance he can wear Penn out & really start to control the fight. In the end, I can't pick against Penn. He's just too good & too well-rounded. He'll retain his belt.

The next biggest fight on the card is between two heavyweights that are coming off tough losses: Frank Mir vs. Cheick Kongo. Mir's last time in the octagon he was completely destroyed by HW Champion, Brock Lesnar (whom avenged the only loss of his career). Kongo's last fight, he was dominated by Cain Velasquez. The analysis for this fight is pretty simple. If the fight goes to the ground, I don't see how Kongo will survive. And vice-versa, if Kongo can keep it standing, I don't see how Mir can survive. It's going to be an interesting clash of styles. I think Mir will be able to take Kongo down, where he'll most likely submit him.

The other two solid match-ups are Kenny Florian vs. Clay Guida, and Jon Fitch vs. Mike Pierce. Florian & Guida is a very interesting fight, between two very successful & experienced fighters. Both of them are trying to work their way back into title contention. Florian is coming off a failed title shot against Penn. While Guida is coming of a split decision loss to Sanchez. This one has fight-of-the-night written all over it. I have no idea who's going to take it. I'm almost sure it'll go to a decision though.

Originally, Fitch was supposed to be taking on Thiago Alves. It would have been a rematch from their 2006 fight, in which Fitch was victorious. But Alves had to withdraw from the fight because of a knee injury. So Pierce stepped in to take his place. Pierce is a good, relatively young fighter, with some good wins, but I don't see how he's going to be able to hang with Fitch. Fitch has only lost once in the last 7 years; and that was to GSP last year. Pierce might be able to take Fitch the distance, but I don't see him winning this fight.

The remaining fights are as follows: Paul Buentello vs. Stefan Struve, Alan Belcher vs. Wilson Gouveia, Shane Nelson vs. Matt Wiman, Johny Hendricks vs. Ricardo Funch, Rousimar Palhares vs. Lucio Linhares, Damarques Johnson vs. Edgar Garcia, Kevin Burns vs. T.J. Grant. Overall, it's a very good card, and I'm really looking forward to it. If you check it out too, I hope you enjoy.
 
Another BCS mini-rant... PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jeff   
Tuesday, 08 December 2009 10:37
Hopefully you get the point of the gif to the right. Okay, let's move on. So the college football regular season & conference championship games have come to a close. Here are a few things we learned this weekend:

- Florida is not the best team in country.
- If you didn't know who Nebraska's Suh was, you do now.
- Alabama is better than I -- and most people -- thought.
- USC lost its 4th game of the season, and dropped out of the AP top 25. Holy shit, that's crazy!
- The BCS is complete bullshit.
- The people running the BCS are cowards.

Well, I guess the last two points were already known. And it sure as hell was reinforced Sunday night when the BCS match-ups were announced. As we knew going in, the winner of the SEC championship would play Texas, if they won. And while the outcome of the Big 12 championship was much, much closer than expected; the effect on the BCS was the same.

We already knew the Rose Bowl was going to be Ohio State vs. Oregon. We knew the loser of the SEC championship would go to the Sugar Bowl. We knew the winner of the ACC championship would go to the Orange Bowl. But what we didn't know, was how the rest would fill out. Well, in typical BCS fashion, they fucked it up. They send Iowa to the Orange Bowl, to face Georgia Tech. And they send Big East champions, Cincinnati, to face Florida in the Sugar Bowl.

Who does that leave?

It leaves the two non-BCS conference teams to face each other in the Fiesta Bowl: TCU & Boise State.

First of all, don't give me the bullshit response that the BCS selection committee doesn't create the match-ups. That they are chosen one by one by the bowls themselves. I understand that's how we are explained it takes place. But you know as well as I that this reeks of backroom dealings, dirty handshakes and mutually beneficial decisions. It's funny, on one hand, they won't give schools like TCU, Boise State & Utah the chance to play for the National Championship. Yet, they are too scared to play them.

Dear BCS, if you're going to continue to screw them out of a chance to play them for the National Championship, at least let them take on some of YOUR other conference champions. Let TCU & Boise State take on YOUR automatic BCS teams Cincinnati & Georgia Tech. Don't be a bitch and pit them against each other. I guess it's going to take more time. These schools from the Mountain West & WAC need to further prove themselves. But how are they going to prove themselves to you and the rest of the nation by beating each other? Let me show you why you are scared. Here are teams from BCS conferences that TCU, Utah, Boise State & BYU have beaten in recent years.

TCU: Oklahoma, Cincinnati, Texas Tech, Arizona, Clemson, Stanford (2x), Vanderbilt, Louisville (2x), South Florida, Iowa State, Northwestern (2x), Baylor (2x) and Virginia.

Utah: Alabama, Oregon, Michigan, Pittsburgh, California, Arizona (2x), Texas A&M, Oregon State, Georgia Tech, UCLA, Louisville (2x), North Carolina and Indiana.

Boise State: Oklahoma, Oregon (2x), Oregon State (2x), Iowa State.

BYU: Oklahoma, Oregon, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Arizona, UCLA (2x), Washington and Syracuse.

How much more do they have to prove? I'm not saying Alabama & Texas don't deserve to play for the National Championship. But I am saying that you can't look college football fans in the eye(s) and tell them that the other 3 undefeated teams (TCU, Cincinnati & Boise State) don't deserve a chance. And I hope all you TCU fans out there noticed that Cincinnati jumped TCU in the final BCS rankings. So even if Texas would have lost to Nebraska, TCU still wouldn't have got a shot.

There is something inherently wrong with this system. It's corrupt and too much about the money. Are you telling me that a playoff wouldn't make more money? Bullshit. We can keep the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl, Little Caesars Bowl, Meineke Car Care Bowl, and the rest of them. At least give the top 8 teams a chance to play for true National Championship.

Until my next rant, goodbye.
 
2009-SEC Championship Preview PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jeff   
Thursday, 03 December 2009 09:38
The #1 Florida Gators and #2 Alabama Crimson Tide will meet in the 2009 SEC Championship, Saturday @ 4pm. This will be the 18th SEC Championship game; and it's probably the biggest one ever. Florida & Alabama will be facing each other in the title game for the 7th time (Florida holds a 4-2 edge). In fact, Alabama has never faced another team for the SEC title, only Florida. This will only be the second time the two teams meeting for the championship will be ranked #1/#2 (last year obviously being the first time, with). But this will be the first time ever, that both teams are 12-0. We already know that the winner will go on to the BCS National Championship. Most likely to face Texas, unless they stumble against Nebraska, which I don't see happening.

Most people I've talked to & seen on TV, think Florida is going to win. Again, I'll admit, I'm a Florida fan. So I hope they are right, but I'm not too sure. I have a feeling this is going to be an epic battle. Neither offense has been spectacular. But this game will feature arguably the best two defenses in college football (top 2 according to stats & rankings). Here's a breakdown of different aspects of the game. Maybe after this, I'll decide on a winner.

OFFENSE:

Rushing: Florida & Alabama both like to run the ball. And both teams are very good at it. There's no doubt that the best runner in the game is Alabama's Mark Ingram. But the question is, which team is better as a whole? Florida with Tim Tebow, Jeffery Demps, Chris Rainey & Emmanuel Moody. Or Alabama with Ingram & Trent Richardson. Florida ranks 6th in the nation in rushing offense, while Alabama ranks 13th. Again, Ingram is the best runner in the game. And Alabama's best chance at winning is for him to have a big game.
Advantage - Florida (by the slimmest of margins)

Passing: Neither team has been very explosive through the air this season. And while it's a no-brainer that Tebow is the better all-around QB, you can't definitively say he's a better passer than Alabama's Greg McElroy. Neither team ranks in the top 50 in passing offense (Florida 64th & Alabama 89th). But one thing you can say is that the best WR in the game will be Alabama's Julio Jones. But it takes two to tango, and Jones hasn't had a stellar season. Florida's Riley Cooper actually has 150 more yards & twice as many TDs on the season. But Florida's most reliable & important receiver is their TE Aaron Hernandez. There will be some important plays & 3rd down conversions through the air, but neither team is going to win by throwing the ball all over the place.
Advantage - Florida (again, barely)

DEFENSE:

Rush: Both of these teams are very tough against the run. Alabama is ranked 2nd in the nation, while Florida ranks 8th. The big LB match-up is Florida's Brandon Spikes vs. Alabama's Rolando McClain. But Alabama's ace in the hole against the run is big Terrence Cody. This is going to be the most interesting part of the game. Which defense will do a better job at stopping -- or at least slowing down -- the run. For both teams it's going to be strength vs. strength. And this will ultimately be the biggest deciding factor as to who will be victorious.
Advantage - Alabama (by 6' 5" 354 lbs)

Pass: Again, both teams are strong against the pass. Florida ranks 1st in the nation, while Alabama ranks 5th. Both teams have a great group of LBs, CBs & safeties. They are pretty much dead even in interceptions & sacks. The one new variable is the arrest & suspension of Florida's standout DE Carlos Dunlap. If this makes it harder for Florida to pressure McElroy, it will help out Alabama's passing game. In this case, it's strength vs. weakness. Like I said earlier, I don't see either team finding a ton of success through the air.
Advantage - EVEN

SPECIAL TEAMS:
Both teams have very solid special teams. The better punt returner is Alabama's Javier Arenas. But Florida has only allowed 4 punts to be returned all season. For a total of 13 yards, which is just incredible. Again, strength vs. strength, we'll see what happens. Florida's Brandon James has had a pretty disappointing season returning punts. Alabama doesn't have as good a punt coverage team, but that might not matter. Now if the 2006-08 James shows up, that might be a problem for Alabama. As for returning kickoffs, again, Arenas is the most dangerous. But Florida is better at covering kickoffs. I don't see this being a huge factor in the game. Obviously, unless a team returns a kickoff for TD. And similarly, if a team blocks a punt, that would be huge. But you can't bank on either of those things happening. After saying all of that...
Advantage - EVEN

COACHING:
These are both very good coaching staffs. Outside of Gainesville, not many people like Urban Meyer. And outside of Tuscaloosa, Nick Saban is pretty much hated. But you can't deny that they are two of the best football coaches in the nation. I don't think either of them will make any big mistakes. And I don't think last year's game will have any effect on this game. It's going to come down to the players, execution, mistakes, penalties, etc.
Advantage - EVEN

INTANGIBLES:
This is where the "Tim Tebow Factor" comes into play. Since losing to Ole Miss last September, Tebow has led Florida to 22 straight victories. And in many cases, he seemed to will his team to victory. It's hard to not think this will play a factor in this game. If it's close, he's the one player that's proven he can carry his team to a championship game victory.
Advantage - Florida (by default)

So, at the risk of jinxing my team, I think Florida will pull this one out. I think it's going to be close as hell, but I see Florida winning. But it honestly won't surprise me one bit if Alabama stifles Florida's offense, makes a big play here & there, and wins this game. We'll see, I can't wait.

It's just too bad we don't have a playoff system. So maybe Florida & Alabama could meet with the National Championship on the line. Instead of -- for the second year in a row -- finishing the season #1 & #2, and meeting in the SEC Championship. But I digress.

Oh, real quick, I almost forgot. Here are my other championship game previews:

Big 12 Championship: Texas wins.

ACC Championship: I like Georgia Tech. But, no offense, does it really matter?

Too bad TCU, Cincinnati & Boise State have no control over their own destiny. Shit! There I go digressing again.
 
URDD NCAA FBS Playoff PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jeff   
Tuesday, 01 December 2009 12:50
Oh boy, it's seems like it was just yesterday when I was complaining about the BCS last year. I just wanted to send out another message to all those who are still in favor of the current BCS system. Yes, I know, it's hard to believe they are still out there. As some of you may know, I'm currently working on a much more in-depth playoff system, that I plan on sending to school presidents & the like (trust me, I know it's pointless & I'm wasting my time). But for the time being, I've come up with a much simpler system.

BCS lovers & haters should both love this. For those of you -- like me -- that are dying to see a playoff, this is it. And for those of you that love the BCS, this system is completely based on those rankings. Simple as it can be. The top 8 teams in the BCS rankings play it out on the field, like it should be.

There are a few things that have to happen this week. But for arguments sake, let's assume that Oregon defeats Oregon State, and Cincinnati defeats Pittsburgh (the records below account for that). Now let's get real. Of the 6 teams that are currently undefeated, only 3 of them control their own destiny. The winner of the SEC Championship will be in the title game. And if Texas wins the Big 12 Championship, they will be in. TCU, Cincinnati & Boise State all need other teams to lose; and even that won't guarantee anything.

The other omission in the system would be the conference championship games. But how is it fair that only half the BCS conferences have a championship game? How is it fair that for the second year in a row, the #1 & #2 teams in the nation have to eliminate one another in their own conference championship game? Unless the other 3 BCS conferences are going to add teams to get up to 12 teams, and add a conference championship game, it's not fair to the 3 conferences that currently have to go through that.

If we are stuck with the BCS, let's at least use it in a better way. We have a 12 game regular season. After that point, we take the top 8 ranked teams from the BCS & they play for the championship. Check it out. It looks amazing to me. I think you'll agree. And if I hear a BCS-backer complain, "what about the #9 ranked team..." -- I'm going to scream. If you're upset that the #9 ranked team gets left out, yet, you are in favor of a system that currently only give 2 teams a chance, give me a break. Now feast your eyes on this...

 
Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers (recap) PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jeff   
Monday, 09 November 2009 10:10

Saturday night, in Chicago, Strikforce: Fedor vs. Rogers aired on CBS. As a longtime MMA fan, it was pretty cool to watch a relevant & exciting card on regular cable. And not have to pay $50 for it on pay-per-view, or go to a bar to watch it. After the debacle that was Elite XC, it was nice to see a legitamite MMA event on regular TV. UFC is still the best promotion out there, but Strikeforce is pretty damn solid.

The main event of the evening featured Fedor Emelianenko taking on Brett Rogers. For those who don't know, Fedor is a living -- and still fighting -- legend. This was Fedor's first fight in Strikeforce, and he didn't disappoint. I have to say though, Rogers surprised a lot of people (including me). He displayed a pretty impressive effort. He landed the first significant strike of the fight. It was only a simple, straight jab. But it opened up a sizable cut on the bridge of Fedor's nose. Which proceeded to bleed considerably. After a few bursts of action in which Fedor got the better of Rogers; Rogers actually got Fedor on his back, and was inflicting some punishing ground-and-pound. Fedor attempted an armbar, and got out of trouble.

During a pre-fight interview Fedor was quoted as saying, "Everybody has relatively the same chin, he'll be hunting mine and I'll be hunting his." Well, a few minutes into the 2nd round, Fedor found Rogers' jaw. He knocked Rogers to the ground, and finished off the previously undefeated fighter via a TKO. Up next for Fedor will most likely either be Fabricio Werdum (also victorious Saturday night -- read below) or current Strikeforce HW Champion, Alistair Overeem. Whom is currently busy in Japan; and has actually yet to defend his belt. There are also rumors that Strikeforce President, Scott Coker, is going to sign possibly two high-profile HW fighters. Maybe Josh Barnett, Andrei Arlovski (whom Fedor has already defeated), Bobby Lashley, Jeff Monson or Sergei Kharitonov, among other possibilities. We'll have to wait & see.

I really want to discuss the other three big fights. But right now, I really have to pee, and I'm a little bit too busy at work to go into anymore detail. For the 3 of you that are reading this, sorry. Here's a short & sweet rundown.

Jakes Shields defeated Jason Miller via Unanimous Decision. Shields was solid, but boring at times. Miller impressed me; and I never knew his fight style is Slap Boxing, and that he hails from Parts Unknown. This was actually a very interesting fight to watch. It was a lot of back & forth on the ground, with multiple reversals & high-level rolling. Miller is a hilarious genius.

Gegard Mousasi defeated Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou via TKO in the 2nd round. Sokoudjou did better than I expected. But as he has in the past, he seemed to run out of steam, and Mousasi proceeded to dominate him. Mousasi is a beast. He's only 24 years old, and he's 27-2. In a Dream World, I'd love to see him take on Anderson Silva &/or Lyoto Machida. Hopefully that will happen in the future.

Fabricio Werdum defeated Antonio Silva via Unanimous Decision. As I said earlier, Werdum might be Fedor's next opponent. Of course, there's never a sure thing in MMA, but I really don't think he would pose a serious threat to Fedor.

Overall, it was a very good night of fights. There are some out there that only want to watch the UFC. I for one am a fan of MMA. I love the UFC & all other promotions. I hope Strikeforce can keep it up. With some of their recent acquisitions & from the rumors of further ones, I think they will. Until next time. Now I must go to the ladies room.
 
UFC 104 PDF Print E-mail
Sports
Written by Jeff   
Thursday, 22 October 2009 10:07
UFC 104 is taking place Saturday night, October 24th, in LA. The main event is for the Light Heavyweight Championship. Current champion, Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida will take on Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. There are a handful of fighters that get me extra excited. Machida & Shogun are on that list; along with Fedor Emelianenko, Georges St. Pierre, Dan Henderson, Urijah Faber & Gegard Mousasi, just to name a few others.

This will be Machida's first time defending his title. He won the belt by utterly destroying Rashad Evans back in May. Machida's career record is 15-0. In fact, Machida has yet to even lose a single round in the UFC. Besides Evans, his other notable victories are over Thiago Silva, Tito Ortiz, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, B.J. Penn and Rich Franklin. He has an incredibly effective style, and nobody has been able to figure him out. He's very quick, allusive & accurate; and has brought Karate back to MMA. He's undoubtedly the #1 LHW in the World right now.

Four years ago, if you were to ask who the best LHW was, most would've said Shogun. He is a former Pride FC Champion, and in a four month period in 2005 he defeated Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Alistair Overeem and Ricardo Arona. But since joining the UFC back in 2007, he's been less than stellar. He lost his UFC debut to eventual -- and now former -- champion, Forrest Griffin. But has since won his last two fights, against Mark Coleman & Chuck Liddell. To be fair, leading up to the Griffin fight, he injured his knee. And then he actually re-injured the knee in the fight, and had surgery afterward. Shogun is 18-3, but he has still yet to show the level of dominance he displayed back in 2005.

Machida & Shogun are two of my favorite fighters, and I don't want to see either of them lose. But obviously, that's going to happen Saturday night. I'm really looking forward to seeing their styles clash. Shogun can have a bit of a wild & instinctual style at times. That will be a bad choice of style against Machida. Machida has an amazing ability to find the smallest openings & capitalize with brutal accuracy. If Shogun is going to have any chance he'll need to keep to his game plan & not push things. I'll be interested to see if Shogun tries to take Machida to the ground, making it more of a BJJ fight, avoiding a purely striking match. As much as I like Shogun & know how good he is, I see Machida taking this one. There's a chance it will go the distance, but I just see Machida either getting the best of Shogun standing; or always being able to put himself in a dominant position on the ground. It's been a long time since I've been this excited for a fight; I can't wait!

Overall, it's a pretty solid line-up of fights. Cain Velasquez will face Ben Rothwell in a HW battle. If Velasquez can stay unbeaten -- which I think he will -- he may very well get a shot at the HW title very soon. Some other good fights are Spencer Fisher vs. Joe Stevenson, Anthony Johnson vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida, Yushin Okami vs. Chael Sonnen, and Patrick Barry vs. Antoni Hardonk. But Machida/Shogun is a historically epic fight, and is worth the price of admission -- or pay-per-view, in my case -- alone.
 
WNBA Finals Update: PDF Print E-mail
Sports
Written by Jeff   
Thursday, 08 October 2009 14:22
The Phoenix Mercury defeated the Indiana Fever, 90-77 last night, tying the series at 2-2, and forcing a Championship-deciding game 5 Friday.

That means there's only roughly 246 days until next season starts; and I can continue not giving a shit about the WNBA.

Jeez, time sure does fly when you don't care about, or even realize something is going on.
 
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