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Sports nostalgia and useless facts

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Notre Dame DVDs: Catholics vs. Convicts

A while back I mentioned that during some post-Christmas giftcard shopping I made an impulse buy purchasing a DVD box set titled College Football's Greatest Games: University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish Collector's Edition. Even though I'm not a Notre Dame fan I purchased the set due to it being the only one if it's kind out there for college football and it was released by A&E Home Video who did the World Series box sets that I've done write ups for. Now since the set is geared torwards Notre Dame fans it does contain some games that are far from "great" but are important in Notre Dame history. Here's the game list:   1966 vs. Michigan State - "Game of the Century" (2nd Half only) 1977 vs. USC - "Thee Green Jersey Game" 1978 vs. Texas - Cotton Bowl 1979 vs. Houston - Cotton Bowl 1988 vs. Miami - "Catholics vs. Convicts" 1989 vs. West Virginia - Fiesta Bowl 1992 vs. Penn State - "The Snow Bowl" 1993 vs. Florida State   The USC, Texas, and West Virginia games are not good games. The USC game is just there for it being the first game the Irish wore green jerseys and the Texas and West Virginia wins wrapped up their last two national championships. The other five games are all true classics. I don't know if I'll do a write up for them all but the one game I definately wanted to watch was the infamous "Catholics vs. Convicts" game.   On a side note I did purchase both the 1977 and 1987 World Series box sets but don't know when I'll get around to doing write ups for them.   October 15, 1988 - #1 Miami (4-0) at #4 Notre Dame (5-0)   -Miami carried a 36 game regular season winning streak into this game and a 16 game winning streak overall with their last loss coming in the infamous 1987 Fiesta Bowl to Penn State. Quarterback Steve "Better Than Troy Aikman" Walsh had yet to lose as a starter.   -This game took place the same day as Game 1 of the World Series that year between the A's and Dodgers or as I call it the "Worst Day in Sports History."   -The opening package by CBS is fantastic as they play it up as a battle of old school, Notre Dame, vs. new school, Miami. To this day I think the opening montage to CBS' college football coverage in the late 80's and early 90's was the best in sports. Brent Musberger and Pat Haden have the call.   Miami Offense QB: Steve Walsh RB: Cleveland Gary, Leonard Conley WR: Randall Hill, Dale Dawkins TE: Rob Chudzinski C: Bobby Garcia G: Mike Sullivan, Barry Panfil T: Darrin Bruce, John O’Neill   Notre Dame Defense NG: Chris Zorich DT: George Williams, Jeff Alm DE: Arnold Ale, Frank Stams LB: Wes Pritchett, Mike Stonebreaker CB: Todd Lyght, Stan Smagala S: George Streeter, Pat Terrell   Notre Dame Offense QB: Tony Rice RB: Anthony Johnson, Mark Green WR: Steve Alaniz, Ricky Watters TE: Derek Brown C: Mike Heldt G: Mike Brennan, Joe Allen T: Andy Heck, Dean Brown   Miami Defense DT: Russell Maryland, Shane Curry DE: Greg Mark, Bill Hawkins MLB: Bernard Clark OLB: Randy Shannon, Rod Carter CB: Donald Ellis, Kenny Berry S: Bobby Harden, Bubba McDowell   -Loooove looking at the old score updates as the game is going on. Wyoming ranked #14!?   FIRST QUARTER   -Frank Stams forces Walsh to fumble on the opening possession and Notre Dame recovers near midfield, although I’m not so sure it was a fumble. Stams hits Walsh’s shoulder as he cocks to throw but the ball doesn’t come loose until Walsh starts moving his arm forward and looks like it should have been ruled an in complete pass. Irish don’t take advantage though and go three and out.   -Ironically enough on Miami’s second possession, Stams hits Walsh again with the ball coming loose before Walsh’s arm goes forward and this time it’s called an incomplete pass. Pat Haden agrees with both calls for what that’s worth.   -Miami’s new head coach for 2007, Randy Shannon is a starting linebacker for the Hurricanes here.   -Rocket Ismail is just a freshman at this time and isn’t a starter but makes his presence known early with a 22 yard reception on Notre Dame’s second possession to convert the first of four 3rd down conversions on the drive. Tony Rice scores the first touchdown of the game on an option keeper from seven yards out.   -Musberger calls Walsh one of the best 3rd down college quarterbacks ever seen. Of course that very next play he throws an easy pick to D’Juan Francisco for Miami’s second turnover in their first three possessions. Very next play after Walsh’s interception, Russell Maryland forces Rice to fumble to turn the ball back over to Miami.   SECOND QUARTER   -Miami ties the game on a Walsh eight yard touchdown pass to Andre Brown.   -Rice hits Ismail on a 62 yard bomb down to the Miami 25. Ismail juggles the catch and stumbles to the ground or otherwise he would have taken it the distance as he beat Bubba McDowell who misjudged the ball and jumped too early trying to pick it off. Drive concludes with nine yard touchdown pass dump off to fullback Braxston Banks on a 3rd down to put Notre Dame back up 14-7.   -Miami quickly advances past midfield on their next possession but Frank Stams continues to be a beast in this game as he tips a Walsh pass that is picked off by Pat Terell who takes it 60 yards for the touchdown. The Irish were looking like they could potentially blow out Miami at this point in the game.   -With the departure of Michael Irvin and Brian Blades, Hurricanes were really lacking at wide receiver here as Walsh’s most effective target is Cleveland Gary out of the backfield. That being said Miami moves the ball almost exclusively through the air in this one as they couldn’t get anything on the ground against the Notre Dame defense.   -On the score updates during the game, Vanderbilt beat #20 Florida 24-6 and it notes that Florida hasn’t won at Vandy since 1966. That trend has just kind of changed the last couple of decades.   -On 4th and 4 on the Notre Dame 23, Miami goes for it and Walsh hits Leonard Conley in the flat with no Irish defenders around him and takes it the distance to get Miami back in the game.   -Notre Dame plays it conservative near the end of the half and goes three and out. Miami gets good field possession but Walsh nearly throws another pick six on the first play of the drive as his intended receiver doesn’t look for the ball coming and Todd Lyght almost picks it off with no one in front of him to prevent him from taking it the distance. Miami moves quickly from there ending with Walsh hitting a wide open Gary from 15 yards out with 21 seconds left in the half to tie it up, 21-21. Gary already had seven catches for 88 yards.   THIRD QUARTER   -On the opening possession, Rice throws a wounded duck that is picked off by McDowell. Miami proceeds to give the ball right back on a Conley fumble on their first play of the half.   -Notre Dame moves into field goal range on the next possession but McDowell blocks the field goal attempt by Billy Hackett. It was a 43 yard attempt into the wind so probably would have been a miss as it is.   -Miami can’t move the ball on their next possession and Jimmy Johnson gambles with a fake punt, with the direct snap to the upback but Notre Dame stuffs it and gets the ball on the Miami 46. On the very next play Rice hits Ricky Watters for a 44 yards gain and Pat Eilers runs it in for the score from there to put the Irish back up 28-21.   -Notre Dame’s short ranger kicker Reggie Ho jumps up and down like an idiot after every successful extra point. Musberger mentioned earlier in the game that he’s missed a few so guess wasn’t always a guarantee it’d go through for him, thus the reason to celebrate.   -Miami drives to the Notre Dame 25 but Walsh throws his third interception of the game as lineman Jeff Alm makes a leaping interception on a dump off attempt to one of the backs.   -Notre Dame marches to Miami 11 before their next drive stalls and they settle for a Ho field goal to extend the lead to 31-21.   FOURTH QUARTER   -Miami had come back from 30-14 deficit with five and a half minutes to go against Michigan earlier in the year in Ann Arbor to win 31-30.   -Miami moves quickly to down inside the Notre Dame 10 but the Irish hold and force Miami into a Carlos Huerta field goal to trim the lead to 31-24.   -Near disaster on the ensuing kick off as Ismail has a brain fart and badly misplays the kick but falls on it back at their own 11. Notre Dame then later in the drive almost has another huge misplay on a 3rd and short as Rice makes a bad pitch to Watters that he can’t handle, the ball gets kick around all the way back to the 24 before the Irish recover to avoid giving the Hurricanes great field position.   -Now we reach the big controversy about this game. With about seven minutes to go Miami goes for it on a 4th and 7 from the Notre Dame 11 and converts on Gary’s 11th reception of the game but as he tries to dive for the goal line he supposedly fumbles and the Irish recover at the 1. Looking at the replay it looks fairly clear that A) his knees hit the ground, B) the ball had broken the plane of the endzone before it came loose, and C) the ground caused the fumble. The only thing I’m unsure of is if his knee hit before he crossed the plane but at the very least should have been First and Goal at the 1. Pat Haden completely agrees with the officials yet again and Musberger doesn’t protest. Jimmy Johnson to say the least is not pleased.   -You can’t stop Frank Stam, you can only hope to contain him. On Miami’s next possession he forces another Walsh fumble, this one legit, and the Irish recover on their 28 with 3:30 to go. It was Walsh’s fifth turnover of the game, seventh turnover overall by the Hurricanes. Walsh would throw for 424 yards in this game but obviously gets completely overshadowed by the turnovers.   -They go back to the controversial Gary “fumble” and Haden says he was bobbling the ball before he it the ground which again the replay doesn’t show any of what he supposedly sees. Even though Haden played at USC, Miami was the most hated team in college football at the time so I got the impression watching this game Haden really wanted to see Miami lose.   -Shannon sacks Rice on 3rd and long, forcing a fumble, and Miami recovers on the Notre Dame 15 with 2:14 to go. Great, entertaining game but god damn has it been sloppy.   -Hurricanes immediately face another 4th and 7 from the Notre Dame 11. This time there is no controversy as Walsh hits Brown for the touchdown to make it 31-30 with 45 seconds left in the game. Since we’re still several years away from overtime in college football Miami decides to go for two. Walsh tries to hit Conley in the corner of the endzone but it is deflected away by Terrell. Miami probably would have kept their #1 ranking if they settle for the tie, especially since they were on the road, but it would have been quite the pussy move at the same time to do so.   -Notre Dame recovers the onside kick and runs out the clock to hand Miami their first regular season loss in over three years. The Irish ran the able from there on their way to their last national championship to date.

Bored

Bored

 

TSB Sim Season: Week 11

After the Bills shocking loss to the Patriots last week I suppose anything is possible but I certaintly didn't think the Bills would lay another egg against the 2-7 Packers but that it is indeed what happened. With the Bills' second straight loss, the Dolphins have now moved into to tie for first place in the AFC East. Once you get past the two AFC East powers, Raiders, and Oilers, the rest of the conference is a mess with five teams at 5-5 going for the last two wild card spots. The Vikings had their six game winning streak snapped in an overtime loss to the Bears who try to keep their very slim division title hopes alive.   Week 11 Scores   Chicago 20, Minnesota 17 OT CHI: 5-5, MIN: 9-2 -Neal Anderson: 92 yards rushing   N.Y. Jets 28, Indianapolis 27 NYJ: 2-8, IND: 3-7 -Mark Boyer: 5 rec, 132 yards   Green Bay 27, Buffalo 17 GB: 3-7, BUF: 8-2 -Sterling Sharpe: 5 rec, 149 yards   Cincinnati 20, Pittsburgh 17 CIN: 4-6, PIT: 5-5 -James Brooks: 80 yards rushing   N.Y. Giants 31, Phoenix 17 NYG: 8-2, PHX: 2-9 -Phil Simms: 187 yards passing   Philadelphia 45, Cleveland 7 PHI: 6-4, CLE: 5-5 -Browns Offense: 9 yards rushing   L.A. Raiders 30, Denver 24 RAI: 8-2, DEN: 4-6 -Marcus Allen: 86 yards rushing   Kansas City 21, LA. Rams 13 KC: 5-5, RAM: 5-5 -Christian Okoye: 81 yards rushing   Miami 24, New England 10 MIA: 8-2, NE: 3-7 -Tony Paige: 164 total yards   Washington 24, Atlanta 20 WAS: 7-3, ATL: 2-8 -Mark Rypien: 197 yards passing   San Diego 31, Seattle 28 OT SD: 5-5, SEA: 5-5 -Marion Butts: 118 yards rushing   Tampa Bay 28, Detroit 10 TB: 3-7, DET: 2-8 -Bruce Hill: 4 rec, 108 yards   San Francisco 35, New Orleans 24 SF: 7-3, NO: 5-5 -Jerry Rice: 6 rec, 136 yards   Houston 21, Dallas 10 HOU: 7-3, DAL: 5-5 -Ernest Givens: 6 rec, 133 yards   Leaders thru Week 11   PASSING LEADERS   Rating 1. Phil Simms, 205.6 2. Dan Marino, 185.2 3. Joe Montana, 168.6   Yards 1. Warren Moon, 2568 2. Montana, 2498 3. Marino, 2315   Touchdowns 1t. Marino, 26 1t. Montana, 26 3. Moon, 24   RECEIVING LEADERS   Receptions 1. Jerry Rice, 49 2. Anthony Miller, 35 3. Henry Ellard, 33   Yards 1. Rice, 1256 2. Ellard, 875 3. Sterling Sharpe, 868   Touchdowns 1. Rice, 13 2. Ernest Givens, 10 3t. Many tied with 9   RUSHING LEADERS   Yards 1. Neal Anderson, 938 2. Johnny Johnson, 894 3. Thurman Thomas, 861   Touchdowns 1. Johnson, 12 2t. Many tied with 11   DEFENSIVE LEADERS   Interceptions 1t. Joey Browner, 7 1t. Kevin Ross, 7 1t. Erik McMillan, 7   Sacks 1. Lawrence Taylor, 17 2. Bruce Smith, 15 3. Simon Fletcher, 14   SPECIAL TEAMS LEADERS   Field Goals: Jeff Jaeger, 12 Punting Avg: Rohn Stark, 51.4 Punt Return Avg: Jeff Query, 12.8 Kick Return Avg: Danny Peebles, 20.2

Bored

Bored

 

TSB Sim Season: Week 14

49ers edged the Saints for the eighth straight win to wrap up the NFC West, although I don't think the game takes into account tiebreaks until the end of the season as it doesn't recognize it yet. Best the Rams can do is tie the 49ers for 1st but the Niners swept the season series. The Giants have almost wrapped up the NFC East as they now have a three game lead on the Redskins and Eagles but they still play the Redskins one more time and the Skins won their first meeting. In the AFC both the Raiders and Dolphins lost but both still hold the leads on the AFC West and the top wild card spot respectively. Oilers and Steelers both win this week to remain tied atop the AFC Central.   Week 14 Scores   Green Bay 17, Atlanta 3 GB: 5-8, ATL: 2-11 -Don Majkowski: 187 yards passing   Buffalo 31, N.Y. Jets 20 BUF: 11-2, NYJ: 3-10 -Thurman Thomas: 194 total yards   N.Y. Giants 24, Cincinnati 21 NYG: 11-2, CIN: 5-8 -Mark Bavaro: 5 rec, 106 yards   Denver 31, New England 14 DEN: 6-7, NE: 3-10 -Bobby Humphrey: 196 yards rushing   Chicago 28, Detroit 21 CHI: 6-7, DET: 2-11 -Neal Anderson: 146 yards rushing   Houston 31, Philadelphia 28 OT HOU: 8-5, PHI: 8-5 -Warren Moon: 355 yards passing   Pittsburgh 24, Dallas 10 PIT: 8-5, DAL: 5-8 -Bubby Brister: 222 yards passing   San Diego 31, L.A. Raiders 28 OT SD: 8-5, RAI: 9-4 -Marion Butts: 125 yards rushing   San Francisco 21, New Orleans 20 SF: 10-3, NO: 6-7 -Jerry Rice: 4 rec, 112 yards   Cleveland 31, Indianapolis 10 CLE: 7-6, IND: 4-9 -Reggie Langhorne: 6 rec, 179 yards   L.A. Rams 31, Washington 21 RAM: 7-6, WAS: 8-5 -Henry Ellard: 6 rec, 219 yards   Kansas City 24, Seattle 17 KC: 8-5, SEA: 5-8 -Christian Okoye: 94 yards rushing   Tampa Bay 20, Miami 17 TB: 5-8, MIA: 9-4 -Gary Anderson: 69 yards rushing   Bye Weeks: Minnesota (11-2), Phoenix (2-11)   Leaders thru Week 14   PASSING LEADERS   Rating 1. Phil Simms, 196.2 2. Dan Marino, 177.86 3. Randall Cunningham, 174.5   Yards 1. Warren Moon, 3373 2. Joe Montana, 3149 3. Jim Everett, 3068   Touchdowns 1. Montana, 33 2t. Many tied with 31   RECEIVING LEADERS   Receptions 1. Jerry Rice, 63 2t. Andre Rison, 45 2t. Anthony Miller, 45   Yards 1. Rice, 1636 2. Henry Ellard, 1183 3. Rison, 1158   Touchdowns 1. Rice, 18 2. Miller, 13 3. James Lofton, 12   RUSHING LEADERS   Yards 1. Thurman Thomas, 1276 2. Neal Anderson, 1247 3. Bo Jackson, 1161   Touchdowns 1. Tom Rathman, 15 2. Anderson, 13 3t. Many tied with 12   DEFENSIVE LEADERS   Interceptions 1. Kevin Ross, 10 2t. Many tied with 8   Sacks 1. Lawrence Taylor, 20 2. Derrick Thomas, 17 3. Reggie White, 16   SPECIAL TEAMS LEADERS   Field Goals: Jeff Jaeger, 16 Punting Avg: Rohn Stark, 50.8 Punt Return Avg: Ellard, 12.9 Kick Return Avg: Tim Brown, 20.6

Bored

Bored

 

TSB Sim Season: Week 15

It seemed liked a forgone conclusion the Raiders would take the AFC West but not anymore. They lost to the Chargers this week for their third straight loss and the Bolts have now moved into a tie for 1st at 9-5. Oilers beat Steelers 21-9 in order to reclaim sole posession of 1st place in the AFC Central. The Bills have clinched the AFC East but again the game won't recognize it yet since the Dolphins can tie for 1st still but the Bills swept the season series. The Giants lost to the Eagles but the Redskins suffered a shocking defeat to the craptastic Cardinals, so the Giants may or may not have clinched the division but I'm too lazy to go through tiebreak scenerios beyond head-to-head which the Giants/Eagles split. The game did officialy recognize the 49ers division title win after their ninth straight victory this week. The Vikings were stunned by the Bucs, who still have a very slim chance at the playoffs, which now gives us a three-way tie atop the NFC. The 49ers would be the odd team out in a three-way tie as they lost to both the Giants and Vikings.   AFC 1. Bills 12-2 2t. Raiders/Chargers 9-5 2t. Oilers 9-5   4. Dolphins 10-4 5. Raiders/Chargers 9-5 6t. Chiefs/Steelers 8-6   Still Alive: Browns 7-7, Broncos 7-7   NFC 1t. Giants 11-3 1t. Vikings 11-3 1t. 49ers 11-3   4. Eagles 9-5 5t. Redskins 8-6 5t. Rams 8-6   Still Alive: Bears 7-7, Saints 7-7, Buccaneers 6-8     Week 15 Scores   Detroit 24, N.Y. Jets 17 DET: 3-11, NYJ: 3-11 -Robert Clark: 4 rec, 113 yards   Philadelphia 28, N.Y. Giants 24 PHI: 9-5, NYG: 11-3 -Keith Byars: 7 rec, 132 yards   Indianapolis 21, New England 14 IND: 5-9, NE: 3-11 -Albert Bentley: 92 yards rushing   San Francisco 31, Seattle 21 SF: 11-3, SEA: 5-9 -Joe Montana: 240 yards passing   Denver 21, Cleveland 17 DEN: 7-7, CLE: 7-7 -Mark Jackson: 57 yards receiving   New Orleans 20, Dallas 17 OT NO: 7-7, DAL: 5-9 -Craig Heyward: 82 yards receiving   San Diego 20, Kansas City 14 SD: 9-5, KC: 8-6 -Bill Joe Tolliver: 154 yards passing   Buffalo 24, L.A. Raiders 21 BUF: 12-2, RAI: 9-5 -Thurman Thomas: 154 yards rushing   Phoenix 27, Washington 24 PHX: 3-11, WAS: 8-6 -Johnny Johnson: 110 yards rushing   Chicago 33, Green Bay 24 CHI: 7-7, GB: 5-9 -Ron Morris: 4 rec, 118 yards   Houston 21, Pittsburgh 9 HOU: 9-5, PIT: 8-6 -Ernest Givens: 4 rec, 108 yards   Miami 38, Cincinnati 14 MIA: 10-4, CIN: 5-9 -Mark Clayton: 6 rec, 158 yards   Tampa Bay 28, Minnesota 27 TB: 6-8, MIN: 11-3 -Vinny Testaverde: 266 yards passing   L.A. Rams 17, Atlanta 14 RAM: 8-6, ATL: 2-12 -Cleveland Gary: 82 yards rushing, leaves injured   Leaders thru Week 15   PASSING LEADERS   Rating 1. Phil Simms, 197.1 2. Dan Marino, 182.5 3. Randall Cunningham, 177.2   Yards 1. Warren Moon, 3593 2. Joe Montana, 3389 3. Jim Everett, 3228   Touchdowns 1t. Montana, 36 1t. Marino, 36 3. Moon, 34   RECEIVING LEADERS   Receptions 1. Jerry Rice, 66 2. Andre Rison, 49 3. Anthony Miller, 47   Yards 1. Rice, 1729 2. Rison, 1258 3. Henry Ellard, 1254   Touchdowns 1. Rice, 19 2t. Miller, 13 2t. James Lofton, 13   RUSHING LEADERS   Yards 1. Thurman Thomas, 1430 2. Neal Anderson, 1336 3. Bo Jackson, 1237   Touchdowns 1. Tom Rathman, 15 2t. Many tied with 13   DEFENSIVE LEADERS   Interceptions 1. Kevin Ross, 10 2t. Many tied with 8   Sacks 1. Lawrence Taylor, 20 2t. Derrick Thomas, 18 2t. Reggie White, 18   SPECIAL TEAMS LEADERS   Field Goals: Jeff Jaeger; Morten Andersen, 16 Punting Avg: Mike Horan, 50.9 Punt Return Avg: Ellard, 12.8 Kick Return Avg: Tim Brown, 21.2

Bored

Bored

 

TSB Sim Season: Week 16

We're down to the wire and a lot of movement still going on. Big story this week was the Browns scoring 24 points in the 4th quarter to come from behind to beat the Oilers 30-21. The Steelers won their game to once again move into a tie for 1st. I was slightly less lazy this time around, figuring out some of the easier tiebreaks, and the Steelers control their own destiny for the division as if they beat the Browns in Week 17 they'll end up with a better division record than the Oilers. In the AFC West, both Chargers and Raiders won to remain dead locked on top the division but the Chargers control their own destiny by virtue of having a better conference record than the Raiders. In the NFC, the Giants lost to the Redskins and the Eagles won so after looking at the tiebreaks as it turns out the Giants really haven't won the division yet. If the Eagles win next week and the Giants lose, the Eagles win the divsion by having a better divisional record. In the race for the last wild card spot in the conference, the Bears control their own destiny as they would end up with a better conference record than the Rams if they win next week although they will have to beat the 49ers to do so. As for a potential three-way ties in both conference for the final wild card spots, you can forget me trying to figure them out.   AFC 1. Bills 12-3 2. Chargers 10-5 3. Steelers 9-6   4t. Dolphins 10-5 4t. Raiders 10-5 6. Oilers 9-6   Still Alive: Browns 8-7, Chiefs 8-7   NFC 1. Vikings 12-3 2. 49ers 12-3 3. Giants 11-4   4. Eagles 10-5 5. Redskins 9-6 6. Bears 8-7   Still Alive: Rams 8-7, Saints 7-8   Week 16 Scores   Phoenix 28, Denver 20 PHX: 4-11, DEN: 7-8 -Timm Rosenbach: 312 yards passing   L.A. Raiders 24, New Orleans 21 RAI: 10-5, NO: 7-8 -Bo Jackson: 111 yards rushing   New England 28, N.Y. Jets 24 NE: 4-11, NYJ: 3-12 -Steve Grogan: 243 yards passing   Indianapolis 21, Buffalo 17 IND: 6-9, BUF: 12-3 -Jessie Hester: 4 rec, 153 yards   Cleveland 30, Houston 21 CLE: 8-7, HOU: 9-6 -Eric Metcalf: 96 yards receiving Browns 24 point 4th quarter   Washington 24, N.Y. Giants 23 WAS: 9-6, NYG: 11-4 -Art Monk: 5 rec, 94 yards   San Francisco 28, Kansas City 17 SF: 12-3, KC: 8-7 -Jerry Rice: 7 rec, 162 yards   Philadelphia 34, Dallas 7 PHI: 10-5, DAL: 5-10 -Randall Cunnigham: 238 yards passing   Seattle 16, Atlanta 14 SEA: 6-9, ATL: 2-13 -Dave Krieg: 165 yards passing   Chicago 27, Tampa Bay 17 CHI: 8-7, TB: 6-9 -Neal Anderson: 98 yards rushing   Detroit 42, Green Bay 14 DET: 4-11, GB: 5-10 -Richard Johnson: 5 rec, 126 yards   Pittsburgh 24, Cincinnati 13 PIT: 9-6, CIN: 5-10 -Warren Williams: 85 yards rushing   San Diego 31, Miami 21 SD: 10-5, MIA: 10-5   Minnesota 34, L.A. Rams 14 MIN: 12-3, RAM: 8-7 -Hassan Jones: 8 rec, 232 yards   Leaders thru Week 16   PASSING LEADERS   Rating 1. Phil Simms, 191.1 2. Randall Cunningham, 178.5 3. Dan Marino, 177.2   Yards 1. Warren Moon, 3729 2. Joe Montana, 3633 3. Jim Everett, 3405   Touchdowns 1. Montana, 40 2. Marino, 38 3. Everett, 35   RECEIVING LEADERS   Receptions 1. Jerry Rice, 73 2. Andre Rison, 51 3. Anthony Miller, 50   Yards 1. Rice, 1891 2. Rison, 1343 3. Henry Ellard, 1308   Touchdowns 1. Rice, 20 2. Miller, 14 3t. Many tied with 13   RUSHING LEADERS   Yards 1. Thurman Thomas, 1539 2. Neal Anderson, 1434 3. Bo Jackson, 1348   Touchdowns 1. Tom Rathman, 15 2t. Anderson, 14 2t. Johnny Johnson, 14   DEFENSIVE LEADERS   Interceptions 1. Kevin Ross, 10 2t. Mark Carrier, 9 2t. Erik McMillan, 9   Sacks 1. Lawrence Taylor, 21 2. Reggie White, 20 3t. Many tied with 18   SPECIAL TEAMS LEADERS   Field Goals: Jeff Jaeger, 17 Punting Avg: Rohn Stark, 51.0 Punt Return Avg: Ellard, 12.8 Kick Return Avg: Tim Brown, 21.8

Bored

Bored

 

TSB Sim Season: Week 17

The season ends with plenty of drama. The best game of the week was the Oilers/Giants with the Oilers prevailing 30-24 in overtime and to go along with the Steelers getting crushed by the Browns, the Oilers win the AFC Central. Steelers though ended up beating out the Browns for the final playoffs spot by tiebreak, or at least that's what the game says as I'm not sure it properly does tiebreaks. In the AFC West, the Raiders beat the Chiefs while the Chargers lost to the Broncos thus handing the division to the Raiders. Over in the NFC, the Eagles could have taken the East with the Giants dropping their third straight but the Eagles lost to the Redskins and those two will now meet again in the Wild Card round. For the final spot in playoffs the Rams took care of business by slaughtering the Seahawks but the Bears couldn't beat the red hot 49ers so the Rams clinched the final playoff spot.   Here are the playoff match-ups:       Week 17 Scores   Phoenix 26, New Orleans 14 PHX: 5-11, NO: 7-9 -Ricky Proehl: 99 yards receiving   Tampa Bay 24, Indianapolis 21 TB: 7-9, IND: 6-10 -Gary Anderson: 197 total yards   L.A. Rams 44, Seattle 17 RAM: 9-7, SEA: 6-10 -Henry Ellard: 5 rec, 172 yards   Cincinnati 31, New England 14 CIN: 6-10, NE: 4-12 -Tim McGee: 4 rec, 100 yards   Miami 16, N.Y. Jets 7 MIA: 11-5, NYJ: 3-13 -Mark Clayton: 6 rec, 152 yards   Houston 30, N.Y. Giants 24 OT HOU: 10-6, NYG: 11-5 -Warren Moon: 230 yards passing   Denver 27, San Diego 21 DEN: 8-8, SD: 10-6 -Bobby Humphrey: 104 yards rushing   Buffalo 33, Detroit 20 BUF: 13-3, DET: 4-12 -Thurman Thomas: 194 yards rushing   Minnesota 29, Green Bay 27 MIN: 13-3, GB: 5-11 -Wade Wilson: 219 yards passing   Cleveland 41, Pittsburgh 14 CLE: 9-7, PIT: 9-7 -Eric Metcalf: 4 rec, 148 yards   San Francisco 21, Chicago 10 SF: 13-3, CHI: 8-8 -Joe Montana: 177 yards passing   Dallas 26, Atlanta 10 DAL: 6-10, ATL: 2-14 -Jay Novacek: 5 rec, 138 yards   L.A. Raiders 35, Kansas City 24 RAI: 11-5, KC: 8-8 -Jay Schroeder: 253 yards passing   Washington 28, Philadelphia 17 WAS: 10-6, PHI: 10-6 -Earnest Byner: 136 yard rushing   NFL Team Leaders   Total Offense 1. Buffalo 5298 2. San Francisco 5163 3. Houston 4961   Passing Offense 1. Houston 3959 2. San Francisco 3810 3. L.A. Rams 3716   Rushing Offense 1. L.A. Raiders 2420 2. Kansas City 2180 3. Buffalo 2162   Team Defense 1. Pittsburgh 3669 2. Buffalo 3959 3. Chicago 4015   Passing Defense 1. Pittsburgh 2219 2. Cleveland 2537 3. Buffalo 2565   Rushing Defense 1. Green Bay 1299 2. New Orleans 1321 3. San Francisco 1322   AFC Individual Leaders   Passing Leaders   Rating: Dan Marino, 168.7 Comp %: Warren Moon, 67.6 Attempts: Bernie Kosar, 269 Comp: Moon, 153 Yards: Moon, 3959 Yards/Att: Moon, 17.5 TD: Marino, 40 Lst Int %: Marino, 5.3   Receiving Leaders   Receptions: Anthony Miller, 53 Yards: Stephone Paige, 1228 Yards/Rct: Mark Jackson, 33.4 TD: Miller, 15   Rushing Leaders   Yards: Thurman Thomas, 1733 Attempts: Marion Butts, 172 Yards/Att: Bo Jackson, 11.9 TD: Butts; Thomas, 15   Scoring Leaders   Points: Thurman Thomas, 132 TD: Thomas, 22 Extra Pts: Scott Norwood, 58 FG: Jeff Jaeger, 17   Punting Leaders   Average: Rohn Stark, 51.0 Punts: Joe Prokop, 27   Interception Leaders   INT: Kevin Ross; Erik McMillan, 10 Yards: McMillan, 127 TD: Many with 1   Sack Leader: Derrick Thomas; Simon Fletcher, 18   Punt Return Leaders   Average: Reggie Langhorne, 10.6 Yards: Langhorne, 159 Returns: Tony Martin, 22 TD: None   Kick Return Leaders   Average: Tim Brown, 21.1 Yards: Terrance Mathis, 1542 Returns: Mathis, 84 TD: None   NFC Individual Leaders   Passing Leaders   Rating: Phil Simms, 186.7 Comp %: Randall Cunnigham, 73.0 Attempts: Don Majkowski, 243 Comp: Joe Montana, 150 Yards: Montana, 3810 Yards/Att: Cunnigham; Simms, 17.5 TD: Montana, 41 Lst Int %: Wade Wilson, 3.7   Receiving Leaders   Receptions: Jerry Rice, 75 Yards: Rice, 1955 Yards/Rct: Mark Ingram, 29.0 TD: Rice, 21   Rushing Leaders   Yards: Neal Anderson, 1508 Attempts: Anderson, 177 Yards/Att: Barry Sanders, 10.2 TD: Tom Rathman, 16   Scoring Leaders   Points: Keith Byars, 138 TD: Byars, 23 Extra Pts: Mike Cofer, 58 FG: Morten Andersen; Steve Christie, 16   Punting Leaders   Average: Rich Camarillo, 48.9 Punts: Mike Saxson, 25   Interception Leaders   INT: Mark Carrier, 9 Yards: Wes Hopkins, 154 TD: Many with 1   Sack Leader: Lawrence Taylor, 21   Punt Return Leaders   Average: Henry Ellard, 12.8 Yards: Leo Lewis, 246 Returns: Lewis, 22 TD: None   Kick Return Leaders   Average: David Meggett, 20.9 Yards: Meggett, 1381 Returns: Charles Wilson, 78 TD: None

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College Football Wrap Up 9/2

For the two of you who care, I'll try to get around to finish my Tecmo Super Bowl sim at some point this month.   Last year I did weekly entries wrapping up the previous day of college football until I ran out of bad jokes which was about three weeks into the season. But never the less I'm going to give it a shot again this year making short and completely un-insightful observations about every game from the weekend that I watched for more than two seconds. My favorite thing about college football is the sheer number of games at one time you can flip through. This year for the first time I now have CollegeSportsTV thus giving me even more football goodness.   Tulsa 35, Louisana-Monroe 17. This was how the college football season kicked off. Not exactly USC/Virginia Tech from 2004, eh? The only thing I noticed about this game was whoever the announcer was for ESPN his voice sounded like he was calling the game on radio yet there were no audio difficulties. Very bizarre.   LSU 45, Mississippi State 0. Bulldogs scored as many points as there will be black coaches in the SEC after this year. Poor Sylvester Croom.   Oregon State 24, Utah 7. Welcome back Utah quarterback Brian Johnson from a torn ACL and goodbye now to a separated shoulder. What was crazy he stayed in for one play after injurying his shoulder and threw a pass. Now that's a real man.   Washington 42, Syracuse 12. I'm hoping this is a sign that the Pac-10 is even more loaded than people thought but its probably more a sign that Syracuse is complete dogshit.   Virginia Tech 17, East Carolina 7. ESPN exploiting tragedy for ratings? Never saw it coming. Does it make me a heartless prick to say that I'm really hoping LSU blows them out next week? Seriously the collective boner that network will get if the Hokies make a serious run at that national title would crush us all.   Michigan State 55, UAB 18. UAB is going to make a major run at being the worst non-Sun Belt team in the country this season. This game was the real downside of the Big Ten Network as in past years the Michigan game would have been on GamePlan and they could have switched to it the second half.   Appalachian State 34, Michigan 32. Okay I didn't see this game since I like 90% of the country don't have the Big Ten Network, not that I really want it as their game line up is awful although I certainly would have wanted it for this one. But forget Michigan for a second, how big of a disspointment would it be if App State doesn't three peat as I-AA/FCS/whatever the fuck we're calling it now this year?   Colorado 31, Colorado State 28. For a game that was tight and went to overtime I was Bored out of my mind for some reason.   Wyoming 23, Virginia 3. This game was so bad I don't remember a damn thing about it.   Georgia Tech 33, Notre Dame 3. Eh, this would have been a lot more fun if it had been Brady Quinn being murdered by the Yellow Jacket defense.   Wisconsin 42, Washington State 21. Would Paul Maguire drop dead already? He makes every game he calls completely unwatchable, amazingly even with the mute on. Brad Nessler and Bob Griese really pissed someone off at ESABCPN to get stuck with him for a second straight year.   Boston College 38, Wake Forest 28. Shame this game was going at the same time as the awesome Missouri/Illinois game or I would have watched more of it. Wake winning the ACC last year reminded me of Stanford winning the Pac-10 in 1999 and like it was for the Cardinal, last year will likely end up being a fluke for the Deacons.   Missouri 40, Illinois 34. Seriously this was the best game of the weekend and I think was the only one who watched the majority of it. Bad sign from Mizzou though to give up 400+ yards of offense to one of the worst teams in the Big Ten, even after knocking out their starting quarterback. Not that winning the Big XII North requires one to be any good.   UCLA 45, Stanford 17. You know things are bad for your program when this is considered progress. I do like that Jim Harbaugh does seem certifiably insane.   BYU 20, Arizona 7. Fomer Bills tackle and athiest Glenn Parker was the analyst for this one so being in the Mormon capital of the world must have been fun. Holy crap I just looked up his Wiki entry and he was born in the same town as me! I'm honored. And he's going to hell.   TCU 27, Baylor 0. My first ever I-A CSTV game and it was this. I watched for three seconds.   Georgia 35, Oklahoma State 14. God damn CFN for convincing me that Oklahoma State was actually going to be a serious threat this year.   Oklahoma 79, North Texas 10. Got to love Fox Sports Net as they always feel the nation needs to see crap like this.   Auburn 23, Kansas State 13. I'll pretty much steal from EDSBS on this one and say that Auburn is the master of playing like shit for three quarters and then pulling a win out of their ass in the 4th.   California 45, Tennessee 31. Must. Kill. EVERYONE. Seriously fuck you Tennessee as now I got to put up with Cal in the national title picture until USC beats them again. Volunteers? Volunteer to suck my dick.   UTEP 10, New Mexico 6. Oof this was ugly and I think a legit upset as UTEP didn't look like shit coming into this year.   USC 38, Idaho 10. I like USC and all but hell if I was going to sit through much of this. Did see Vidal Hazleton make a sick, one-handed touchdown catch though.

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College Football Wrap Up 9/9

My Week 2 Useless Comments on Games I Watched for More than Two Seconds   Texas Tech 49, SMU 9. Given this result and their struggle to beat North Texas maybe the Ponies won't break their post-Death Penalty bowl drought after all.   Clemson 24, Florida State 18. When will the Bobby Bowden Retirement Tour begin already?   Louisville 58, Middle Tennessee State 42. If you give up 42 points at home to a Sun Belt team you're probably not Top 10 material.   Cincinnati 34, Oregon State 3. Thank God I forgot to mention last week that Yvenson Bernard was my super sleeper Heisman candidate.   Rutgers 41, Navy 24. I had no idea Ray Rice's mom was retarded.   West Virignia 48, Marshall 23. HEY REMEMBER 37 YEARS AGO THE WHOLE MARSHALL TEAM DIED IN A PLANE CRASH AND THEY MADE A DISNEY MOVIE ABOUT IT STARING MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY AND IT'S NOW ON DVD. WAIT IS THERE A GAME GOING ON?   Nebraska 20, Wake Forest 17. For anyone who thinks USC might be running into a buzzsaw next week in Lincoln always remember Bill Callahan is their head coach.   Oklahoma 51, Miami 13. Nothing good can ever come from the Sooners being dominate again.   California 34, Colorado State 28. My insanely biased, bold prediction: Cal will only be the 5th best team in the Pac-10 by the end of the year.   Boston College 37, N.C. State 17. Now why exactly did Tom O'Brien leave BC again? Anyone?   Texas A&M 47, Fresno State 45. Game of the day. The Coaches' Poll inexplicably moved A&M up five spots for this win so I'll just assume Dennis Franchione gives great head.   Washington 24, Boise State 10. This wasn't an upset, Boise just isn't that good.   Oregon 39, Michigan 7. The scary thing for Michigan fans' is that Oregon probably will only end up going like 8-4 this year. And yes we can officially all start redoing our "Greatest Upsets Ever" list as the Appalachian State game suddenly doesn't seem like that big of a deal.   South Carolina 16, Georgia 12. And who says SEC Football is boring? Zzzzzzzz.   Penn State 31, Notre Dame 10. Jimmy Clausen getting his ass kicked in front of his family is fine entertainment.   East Carolina 34, North Carolina 31. Seriously CSTV needs to have their top scoreline and their bottom line take up less of the screen. It's like trying to watch a game in letterbox format except without the widescreen enhancement.   UCLA 27, BYU 17. I'm not quite sold on UCLA being a near Top 10 team.   Texas 34, TCU 13. Yup there ain't going to be a Boise State story this year. Sorry I don't buy into the "Look how shitty their schedule is!" argument for Hawaii especially after almost losing to Louisiana Tech.   South Florida 26, Auburn 23. For the second straight year it looks the Big East will be better than the ACC yet they'll be stuck with by far the worst bowl tie ins of any BCS conference.   LSU 48, Virginia Tech 7. THANK YOU GOD! Now just need LSU to lose because LSU playing for the national title in New Orleans will still get way too many pants full in Bristol, CT.   Wisconsin 20, UNLV 13. I'll say it right now, even if they go undefeated the Big Ten champ should not be in the BCS Championship Game.   Arizona State 33, Colorado 14. Never underestimate Dennis Erickson's ability at the college level. His teams have zero discipline but they simply don't give a fuck and they will kill you if given the opportunity.   Bored's Poll   1. LSU 2. Oklahoma 3. USC 4. Everyone else

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Bored's Pointless Top 25 Numba 2

For the two of you who liked the TSB entries I know I said I'd get around to finishing this month but doesn't look like that'll happen. I've been doing a ridiculous amount of overtime at work lately and my time on the board is spent working on my pick 'em contest. Also after next week I'll be working on my end of the season 2007 MLB Player Rankings for the blog so the TSB is just going to have to wait.   So we're down to 23 undefeated teams in I-A/FBS/Whatever football so obviously my "only rank unbeaten teams" goes out the window. But that being said, I still say give credit to all the unbeatens at this point so I'm including them all in my Top 25. Who cares UConn hasn't played anyone and will end up 6-6, what's the harm in giving them a No Prize this early in the season?   1. LSU 2. USC 3. Oklahoma 4. Florida 5. West Virginia 6. Boston College 7. Ohio State 8. Kentucky 9. California 10. Oregon 11. Texas 12. Wisconsin 13. Clemson 14. Rutgers 15. South Florida 16. Arizona State 17. Cincinnati 18. Missouri 19. Kansas 20. Purdue 21. Michigan State 22. South Carolina 23. Georgia 24. Hawaii 25. Connecticut

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2007 MLB Awards

Before I get to my awards picks, here's my quick rundown of what I want out of this postseason.   1. No Red Sox/Yankees ALCS. Do I need to explain? 2. No Rockies/D-Backs NLCS. Do I need to explain? 3. D-Backs don't win the World Series. We have one 90's expansion team with two world championships already, we don't need another. 4. Indians win the ALCS. Besides the Giants, there are no teams in baseball that I would rather see less in a World Series than the Red Sox, Yankees, and Angels. The second the Indians are eliminated is the second I tune out from the postseason.   My gut feeling is we get another Yankees/D-Backs World Series with the Yankees prevailing this time. Finally Yankees' fans many years of suffering will be over! On to the awards.   I should note that when I post my player rankings for the year there may be some differences from my awards but mainly because I throw this together pretty quick. Last year I had C.C. Sabathia as 3rd for A.L. Cy Young but by the time I did the rankings for starting pitchers I had Sabathia about 5th or 6th. Also I'm going to be lazy and not bother with typing out players stats. You know where to find them anyways.   N.L. MVP   This was a wide open race all year with no one ever seeming to take a real strangle hold on the spot as favorite. The media has narrowed it down to Matt Holliday, Jimmy Rollins, and Prince Fielder but my choice is David Wright as he was just a tad better across the board. Any writer's who held out until the last second to submit their ballots probably filled in Holliday's name at #1 today and his late season surge I think will make him a PAC (Pefectly Acceptable Choice) but it's a shame that Wright is unlikely to finish better than 4th and the Mets' collapse has completely overshadowed his amazing season. Fielder would be a pretty uninspiring choice and Rollins would be almost on the level of Justin Morneau winning the A.L. MVP last year.   1.   2. Matt Holliday, Rockies 3. Albert Pujols, Cardinals 4. Hanley Ramirez, Marlins 5. Miguel Cabrera, Marlins 6. Prince Fielder, Brewers 7. Chipper Jones, Braves 8. Chase Utley, Phillies 9. Jimmy Rollins, Phillies 10. Ryan Howard, Phillies   N.L. Cy Young   This and A.L. MVP are by far the easiest choices. Hopefully no idiot writers will decide to penalize Jake Peavy for lack of clutchiness on the mound last night as he was far and away the best pitcher in the N.L. and should be the unanimous winner. 2nd place was also very easy but 3rd place proved very difficult to decide but finally went with John Smoltz over Aaron Harang, subject to change of course when I do the pitcher rankings.   1.   2. Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks 3. John Smoltz, Braves   N.L. Rookie of the Year   This will be my most questionable choice. ROY's I think can be very tough to choose because you are dealing with candidates who some played the whole season and others who were midseason call ups. Ryan Braun was an absolute force at the plate but he's also hacker (29 BB/112 SO) and a liabiltiy defensively. So I decided to go with Troy Tulowitzki, who was with the Rockies the whole season, giving them Gold Glover caliber defense at shortstop and by the end of the year had put up some strong offensive numbers.   1.   2. Ryan Braun, Brewers 3. Hunter Pence, Astros   A.L. MVP   Magglio Ordonez had a shockingly good rebound year and hung tough for a very long time in this race but by the end of the year he couldn't stick with A-Rod. All have to say about my ballot is, seriously what the fuck happened to Carlos Pena this year? Biggest fluke ever or best late bloomer ever?   1.   2. Magglio Ordonez, Tigers 3. Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners 4. David Ortiz, Red Sox 5. Vladmir Guerrero, Angles 6. Carlos Pena, Devil Rays 7. Victor Martinez, Indians 8. Grady Sizemore, Indians 9. Jorge Posada, Yankees 10. Curtis Granderson, Tigers   A.L. Cy Young   Josh Beckett is going to win the writer's award. There was so much hand wringing and phony outrage by the baseball writer's last year about there being no 20 game winners in either league that anyone who won 20 games this season with an ERA under 4 is going to win the award. Not to say Beckett will be a bad choice, just the wrong choice.   1.   2. Josh Beckett, Red Sox 3. Johan Santana, Twins   A.L. Rookie of the Year   Toughest pick of them all. Jeremy Guthrie has no shot at all at the writer's award due to having only a 7-5 record but he's my pick here in pretty much a coin flip over Dustin Pedroia. Hell I couldn't even find a picture of 2007 baseball card for Guthrie.   1. Jeremy Guthrie, Orioles 2. Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox 3. Brian Bannister, Royals

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2007 Player Rankings: Catchers

It's that time of year again where I tell you who were best and worst players by position in MLB for the past season, in case you already forgot what did happen this past season. Starting with position players I will rank the Top 30 players in plate appearances at each position, based on the player's primary position for the season. For the position players I take into account five statiscal categories: OPS+, VORP, Equivalent Average, Runs Created (ballpark adjusted per hardballtimes.com), and Win Shares. The rankings are based purely on what the player did during the 2007 season as past performance and potential future value are not taken into account.   This year for each position I'll repost who I had as the best, the most average, and the worst by position from 2004-2006.   Catchers   2004 1. Ivan Rodriguez 15. Gregg Zaun 30. Chad Moeller   2005 1. Victor Martinez 15. Mike Matheny 30. Chris Snyder   2006 1. Joe Mauer 15. A.J. Pierzynski 30. Jose Molina   2007 1. Victor Martinez, Indians 2. Jorge Posada, Yankees 3. Russell Martin, Dodgers 4. Joe Mauer, Twins 5. Josh Bard, Padres 6. Brian McCann, Braves 7. Jason Varitek, Red Sox 8. Kenji Johjima, Mariners 9. Chris Snyder, Diamondbacks 10. Bengie Molina, Giants 11. Carlos Ruiz, Phillies 12. Gregg Zaun, Blue Jays 13. Ivan Rodriguez, Tigers 14. Ramon Hernandez, Orioles 15. Yadier Molina, Cardinals 16. Ronny Paulino, Pirates 17. A.J. Pierzynski, White Sox 18. Paul Lo Duca, Mets 19. John Buck, Royals 20. Brian Schneider, Nationals 21. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Braves/Rangers 22. Johnny Estrada, Brewers 23. Miguel Olivo, Marlins 24. Yorvit Torrealba, Rockies 25. Gerald Laird, Rangers 26. Brad Aumsus, Astros 27. Jason Kendall, A's/Cubs 28. Dioner Navarrao, Devil Rays 29. David Ross, Reds 30. Michael Barrett, Cubs/Padres

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2007 Player Rankings: First Basemen & DH

I decided to throw the DH rankings into the first base entry. Only difference from the other positions is I rank 14 players instead of 30.   First Basemen   2004 1. Albert Pujols 15. Ben Broussard 30. Doug Mientkiewicz   2005 1. Derrek Lee 15. Ryan Howard 30. Phil Nevin   2006 1. Albert Pujols 15. Kevin Youkilis 30. Travis Lee   2007 1. Albert Pujols, Cardinals 2. Carlos Pena, Devil Rays 3. Prince Fielder, Brewers 4. Mark Teixeira, Rangers/Braves 5. Ryan Howard, Phillies 6. Todd Helton, Rockies 7. Adrian Gonzalez, Padres 8. Lance Berkman, Astros 9. Derrek Lee, Cubs 10. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox 11. Dmitri Young, Nationals 12. James Loney, Dodgers 13. Justin Morneau, Twins 14. Matt Stairs, Blue Jays 15. Paul Konerko, White Sox 16. Casey Kotchman, Angels 17. Adam LaRoche, Pirates 18. Ryan Garko, Indians 19. Conor Jackson, Diamondbacks 20. Scott Hatteberg, Reds 21. Carlos Delgado, Mets 22. Kevin Millar, Orioles 23. Dan Johnson, A's 24. Brad Wilkerson, Rangers 25. Mike Jacobs, Marlins 26. Sean Casey, Tigers 27. Nomar Garciaparra, Dodgers 28. Ryan Klesko, Giants 29. Richie Sexson, Mariners 30. Lyle Overbay, Blue Jays   Designated Hitters   Top DH 2004-2006 2004: Travis Hafner 2005: David Ortiz 2006: David Ortiz   2007 1. David Ortiz, Red Sox 2. Jim Thome, White Sox 3. Jack Cust, A's 4. Frank Thomas, Blue Jays 5. Travis Hafner, Indians 6. Gary Sheffield, Tigers 7. Jose Vidro, Mariners 8. Aubrey Huff, Orioles 9. Jonny Gomes, Devil Rays 10. Billy Butler, Royals 11. Jason Giambi, Yankees 12. Sammy Sosa, Rangers 13. Mike Piazza, A's 14. Mike Sweeney, Royals

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2007 Player Rankings: Second Basemen

Second Basemen   2004 1. Mark Loretta 15. Orlando Hudson 30. Enrique Wilson   2005 1. Brian Roberts 15. Tony Graffanino 30. Miguel Cairo   2006 1. Chase Utley 15. Ian Kinsler 30. Jose Castillo   2007 1. Chase Utley, Phillies 2. Placido Polanco, Tigers 3. Brian Roberts, Orioles 4. Robinson Cano, Yankees 5. Kelly Johnson, Braves 6. Jeff Kent, Dodgers 7. Orlando Hudson, Diamondbacks 8. Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox 9. Freddy Sanchez, Pirates 10. Dan Uggla, Marlins 11. Brandon Phillips, Reds 12. Aaron Hill, Blue Jays 13. Mark Ellis, A's 14. Ian Kinsler, Rangers 15. Rickie Weeks, Brewers 16. Mark DeRosa, Cubs 17. Ronnie Belliard, Nationals 18. Luis Castillo, Twins/Mets 19. Tadahito Iguchi, White Sox/Phillies 20. Mark Grudzielanek, Royals 21. Kazuo Matsui, Rockies 22. Aaron Miles, Cardinals 23. Esteban German, Royals 24. Geoff Blum, Padres 25. Marcus Giles, Padres 26. Jose Lopez, Mariners 27. Craig Biggio, Astros 28. Chris Burke, Astros 29. Ray Durham, Giants 30. Josh Barfield, Indians

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2007 Player Rankings: Third Basemen

Third Basemen   2004 1. Adrian Beltre 15. Corey Koskie 30. Mark DeRosa   2005 1. Alex Rodriguez 15. Joe Crede 30. Sean Burroughs   2006 1. Miguel Cabrera 15. Morgan Ensberg 30. Vinny Castilla   2007 1. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees 2. David Wright, Mets 3. Miguel Cabrera, Marlins 4. Chipper Jones, Braves 5. Mike Lowell, Red Sox 6. Ryan Braun, Brewers 7. Aramis Ramirez, Cubs 8. Chone Figgins, Angels 9. Garrett Atkins, Rockies 10. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals 11. Adrian Beltre, Mariners 12. Kevin Kouzmanoff, Padres 13. Troy Glaus, Blue Jays 14. Edwin Encarnacion, Reds 15. Mark Reynolds, Diamondbacks 16. Akinori Iwamura, Devil Rays 17. Mike Lamb, Astros 18. Maicer Izturis, Angels 19. Casey Blake, Indians 20. Ty Wigginton, Devil Rays/Astros 21. Jose Bautista, Pirates 22. Melvin Mora, Orioles 23. Josh Fields, White Sox 24. Pedro Feliz, Giants 25. Brandon Inge, Tigers 26. Alex Gordon, Royals 27. Gregg Dobbs, Phillies 28. Scott Rolen, Cardinals 29. Eric Chavez, A's 30. Nick Punto, Twins

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2007 Player Rankings: Shortstops

Shortstops   2004 1. Miguel Tejada 15. Kazuo Matsui 30. Alex S Gonzalez   2005 1. Michael Young 15. Carlos Guillen 30. Cristian Guzman   2006 1. Derek Jeter 15. Jhonny Peralta 30. Angel Berroa   2007 1. Hanley Ramirez, Marlins 2. Jimmy Rollins, Phillies 3. Derek Jeter, Yankees 4. Jose Reyes, Mets 5. Carlos Guillen, Tigers 6. Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies 7. Edgar Renteria, Braves 8. Michael Young, Rangers 9. Orlando Cabrera, Angels 10. Jhonny Peralta, Indians 11. Miguel Tejada, Orioles 12. J.J. Hardy, Brewers 13. Jack Wilson, Pirates 14. Khalil Greene, Padres 15. Brendan Harris, Devil Rays 16. Yuniesky Betancourt, Mariners 17. Jason Bartlett, Twins 18. David Eckstein, Cardinals 19. Rafael Furcal, Dodgers 20. Mark Loretta, Astros 21. Alex Gonzalez, Reds 22. Stephen Drew, Diamondbacks 23. Ryan Theriot, Cubs 24. Felipe Lopez, Nationals 25. Julio Lugo, Red Sox 26. Juan Uribe, White Sox 27. Marco Scutaro, A's 28. Omar Vizquel, Giants 29. Tony Pena Jr., Royals 30. Bobby Crosby, A's

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Bored's Pointless Top 25 USF/Kansas BCS Title Game Edition

Thank you to Oregon State Vanessa Hudgens I do not have to worry about a Cal national championship, although still need to some help to avoid them getting to the Rose Bowl.   With the BCS Rankings out I probably shouldn't even bother with this anymore but maybe one more week. Pretty simple there are five undefeated BCS teams so they make up my Top 5. This week though I now have to include two loss teams in the rankings and even rank some of them above one loss teams but I will rank all one loss teams. Now one rule that I always stick by is if you have two teams with the same number of losses and who have played each other, you must rank the winner of the head-to-head match-up higher. As much as I hate Cal there is no justifying ranking them below Oregon. Of course this rule has to be thrown out when you have a situation like with LSU, South Carolina, and Kentucky. LSU beat South Carolina, South Carolina beat Kentucky, Kentucky beat LSU. In this case given that yesterday's game could have gone either way and that LSU beat South Carolina convincingly, I've ranked LSU above Kentucky.   1. Ohio State 2. South Florida 3. Boston College 4. Arizona State 5. Kansas 6. LSU 7. South Carolina 8. Oklahoma 9. Kentucky 10. West Virginia 11. California 12. Oregon 13. Missouri 14. Virginia Tech 15. Auburn 16. Florida 17. Cincinnati 18. Texas Tech 19. Tennessee 20. USC 21. Virginia 22. Kansas State 23. Connecticut 24. Hawaii 25. Boise State

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2007 Player Rankings: Centerfielders

Centerfielders   2004 1. Jim Edmonds 15. Milton Bradley 30. Marlon Byrd   2005 1. Jim Edmonds 15. Milton Bradley 30. Corey Patterson   2006 1. Carlos Beltran 15. Juan Pierre 30. Reggie Ambercrombie   2007 1. Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners 2. Grady Sizemore, Indians 3. Curtis Granderson, Tigers 4. Carlos Beltran, Mets 5. B.J. Upton, Devil Rays 6. Aaron Rowand, Phillies 7. Torii Hunter, Twins 8. Hunter Pence, Astros 9. Nick Swisher, A's 10. Mike Cameron, Padres 11. Kenny Lofton, Rangers/Indians 12. Johnny Damon, Yankees 13. Marlon Byrd, Rangers 14. Nate McLouth, Pirates 15. David DeJesus, Royals 16. Chris Young, Diamondbacks 17. Gary Matthews Jr., Angels 18. Andruw Jones, Braves 19. Melky Cabrera, Yankees 20. Willy Taveres, Rockies 21. Coco Crisp, Red Sox 22. Juan Pierre, Dodgers 23. Jacque Jones, Cubs 24. Bill Hall, Brewers 25. Vernon Wells, Blue Jays 26. Dave Roberts, Giants 27. Jim Edmonds, Cardinals 28. Corey Patterson, Orioles 29. Alfredo Amezaga, Marlins 30. Jerry Owens, White Sox

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2007 Player Rankings: Rightfielders

Rightfielders   2004 1. Bobby Abreu 15. Jermaine Dye 30. Abraham Nunez   2005 1. Brian Giles 15. Jason Lane 30. Sammy Sosa   2006 1. Jermaine Dye 15. Geoff Jenkins 30. Jose Guillen   2007 1. Magglio Ordonez, Tigers 2. Vladimir Guerrero, Angels 3. Corey Hart, Brewers 4. Brad Hawpe, Rockies 5. Alex Rios, Blue Jays 6. Nick Markakis, Orioles 7. Jose Guillen, Mariners 8. Bobby Abreu, Yankees 9. Ken Griffey Jr., Reds 10. Jeremy Hermida, Marlins 11. Randy Winn, Giants 12. Jeff Francoeur, Braves 13. Michael Cuddyer, Twins 14. Matt Kemp, Dodgers 15. Travis Buck, A's 16. Austin Kearns, Nationals 17. Luke Scott, Astros 18. Brian Giles, Padres 19. Shawn Green, Mets 20. Andre Ethier, Dodgers 21. J.D. Drew, Red Sox 22. Shane Victorino, Phillies 23. Delmon Young, Devil Rays 24. Xavier Nady, Pirates 25. Mark Teahan, Royals 26. Jermaine Dye, White Sox 27. Cliff Floyd, Cubs 28. Juan Encarnacion, Cardinals 29. Trot Nixon, Indians 30. Nelson Cruz, Rangers

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2007 Player Rankings: Middle Relievers

For middle relievers, the first two years I took the top 60 in games pitched and then last year I did the top 60 in Holds. This time around I tried to get a combination of both and put an arbitrary number of at least 70 games pitched or at least 15 Holds to work with at first and purely by accident I ended up with exactly 60 relievers. This of course excludes those who will appear on the Closers list.   I take into account six statistical categories: Component ERA, K/BB Ratio, WHIP, VORP, Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP), and Pitching Runs Created.   2004 1. Tom Gordon 30. Jim Mecir 60. John Rielding   2005 1. Justin Duchscherer 30. Duaner Sanchez 60. Dan Kolb   2006 1. Cla Meredith 30. Francisco Rodney 60. Ray King   2007 1. Rafael Betancourt, Indians 2. Heath Bell, Padres 3. Hideki Okajima, Red Sox 4. Russ Springer, Cardinals 5. Carlos Marmol, Cubs 6. Jonathan Broxton, Dodgers 7. Joaquin Benoit, Rangers 8. Matt Guerrier, Twins 9. George Sherrill, Mariners 10. Peter Moylan, Braves 11. Ryan Franklin, Cardinals 12. Rafael Soriano, Braves 13. Bob Howry, Cubs 14. Pat Neshek, Twins 15. Jon Rauch, Nationals 16. Scott Downs, Blue Jays 17. Justin Speier, Angels 18. Damaso Marte, Pirates 19. Aaron Heilman, Mets 20. Casey Janssen, Blue Jays 21. Chad Qualls, Astros 22. Brandon Lyon, Diamondbacks 23. Tony Pena, Diamondbacks 24. Matt Lindstrom, Marlins 25. Justin Miller, Marlins 26. C.J. Wilson, Rangers 27. Pedro Feliciano, Mets 28. David Riske, Royals 29. Brian Shouse, Brewers 30. Saul Rivera, Nationals 31. Scot Shields, Angels 32. Michael Wuertz, Cubs 33. Cla Meredith, Padres 34. Jamie Walker, Orioles 35. Joe Beimel, Dodgers 36. Carlos Villanueva, Brewers 37. J.C. Romero, Red Sox/Phillies 38. Rudy Seanez, Dodgers 39. Derrick Turnbow, Brewers 40. Dan Wheeler, Astros/Devil Rays 41. Jeremy Affeldt, Rockies 42. Chad Bradford, Orioles 43. Randy Flores, Cardinals 44. Matt Thornton, White Sox 45. Tyler Yates, Braves 46. Scott Linebrink, Padres/Brewers 47. Scott Proctor, Yankees/Dodgers 48. Jimmy Gobble, Royals 49. Renyel Pinto, Marlins 50. Luis Vizcaino, Yankees 51. Brandon Morrow, Mariners 52. Taylor Tankersley, Marlins 53. Trever Miller, Astros 54. Frank Francisco, Rangers 55. Kyle Farnsworth, Yankees 56. Jorge Julio, Marlins/Rockies 57. Scott Schoenweis, Mets 58. Mike Myers, Yankees/White Sox 59. Antonio Alfonseco, Phillies 60. Mike MacDougal, White Sox

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2007 Player Rankings: Closers

For closers the list includes the top 30 in Saves. Only difference from middle relievers is I do take into account Win Shares.   2004 1. Brad Lidge 15. Octavio Dotel 30. Shawn Chacon   2005 1. Mariano Rivera 15. Jason Isringhausen 30. Keith Foulke   2006 1. Jonathan Papelbon 15. Francisco Cordero 30. Derrick Turnbow   2007 1. J.J. Putz, Mariners 2. Takashi Saito, Dodgers 3. Jonathan Papelbon, Red Sox 4. Joe Nathan, Twins 5. Bobby Jenks, White Sox 6. Joakim Soria, Royals 7. Matt Capps, Pirates 8. Manny Corpas, Rockies 9. Francisco Cordero, Brewers 10. Mariano Rivera, Yankees 11. Jeremy Accardo, Blue Jays 12. Huston Street, A's 13. Billy Wagner, Mets 14. Jason Isringhausen, Cardinals 15. Francisco Rodriguez, Angels 16. Jose Valverde, Diamondbacks 17. Trevor Hoffman, Padres 18. Kevin Gregg, Marlins 19. David Weathers, Reds 20. Brad Lidge, Astros 21. Alan Embree, A's 22. Brian Fuentes, Rockies 23. Brett Myers, Phillies 24. Chad Cordero, Nationals 25. Al Reyes, Devil Rays 26. Brad Hennessey, Giants 27. Todd Jones, Tigers 28. Joe Borowski, Indians 29. Ryan Dempster, Cubs 30. Bob Wickman, Braves/Diamondbacks

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Bored's Pointless Top 25 Boring November Edition

This was actually relatively uneventful Saturday and after all the chaos in the previous weeks I get the feeling we may have a boring November. We're down to only 10 BCS conference teams with one loss or less compared to 18 at this time last year so I think law of averages this past week might be a sign of things to come. Even now in the era of a 12 game regular season and conference championships I still don't see us having the first two loss, post-bowls national champion. Believe me though I would love a two loss champion as it would even further kill the argument that the regular season is one big playoff.   Almost made it through October without ranking any three loss teams but as the SEC continues to cannibalize itself I have no other choice.   1. Ohio State 2. Arizona State 3. Boston College 4. Kansas 5. LSU 6. West Virginia 7. Oklahoma 8. Oregon 9. Missouri 10. Georgia 11. Connecticut 12. Alabama 13. Virginia Tech 14. South Florida 15. Wake Forest 16. Auburn 17. Florida 18. Michigan 19. Tennessee 20. Wisconsin 21. South Carolina 22. USC 23. Kentucky 24. Hawaii 25. Boise State

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2007 Player Rankings: Starting Pitchers

And finally wrapping up the 2007 Player Rankings with my favorite and longest list, starting pitchers. Only difference from closers is I do take into account ERA+. The list includes the top 120 pitchers in games started.   2004 1. Randy Johnson 15. Odalis Perez 30. Josh Beckett 45. Joe Kennedy 60. Randy Wolf 75. Jon Garland 90. Aaron Harang 105. Jose Acevedo 120. Brian Anderson   2005 1. Roger Clemens 15. Brandon Webb 30. Kenny Rogers 45. Derek Lowe 60. Livan Hernandez 75. Jason Marquis 90. Mike Maroth 105. Gil Meche 120. Jose Lima   2006 1. Johan Santana 15. Jered Weaver 30. Jake Peavy 45. Aaron Cook 60. Jeff Suppan 75. Matt Morris 90. Rick Nolasco 105. Casey Fossum 120. Oliver Perez   2007 1. Jake Peavy, Padres 2. C.C. Sabathia, Indians 3. Josh Beckett, Red Sox 4. Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks 5. Erik Bedard, Orioles 6. Johan Santana, Twins 7. John Smoltz, Braves 8. John Lackey, Angels 9. Aaron Harang, Reds 10. Javier Vazquez, White Sox 11. Dan Haren, A's 12. Cole Hamels, Phillies 13. Tim Hudson, Braves 14. Fausto Carmona, Indians 15. Roy Oswalt, Astros 16. James Shields, Devil Rays 17. Kelvim Escobar, Angels 18. Ted Lilly, Cubs 19. Roy Halladay, Blue Jays 20. Chris Young, Padres 21. Brad Penny, Dodgers 22. Justin Verlander, Tigers 23. Joe Blanton, A's 24. Scott Kazmir, Devil Rays 25. Mark Buehrle, White Sox 26. Matt Cain, Giants 27. Gil Meche, Royals 28. Rich Hill, Cubs 29. Chien-Ming Wang, Yankees 30. Jeremy Guthrie, Orioles 31. A.J. Burnett, Blue Jays 32. Dustin McGowan, Blue Jays 33. Ian Snell, Pirates 34. Greg Maddux, Padres 35. Derek Lowe, Dodgers 36. Curt Schilling, Red Sox 37. Jeff Francis, Rockies 38. Felix Hernandez, Mariners 39. Ben Sheets, Brewers 40. John Maine, Mets 41. Carlos Zambrano, Cubs 42. Adam Wainwright, Cardinals 43. Daisuke Matsuzaka, Red Sox 44. Brian Bannister, Royals 45. Tim Lincecum, Giants 46. Oliver Perez, Mets 47. Tom Gorzelanny, Pirates 48. Carlos Silva, Twins 49. Andy Pettitte, Yankees 50. Orlando Hernandez, Mets 51. Jered Weaver, Angels 52. Jon Garland, White Sox 53. Scott Baker, Twins 54. Bronson Arroyo, Reds 55. Shaun Marcum, Blue Jays 56. Wandy Rodriguez, Astros 57. Kyle Kendrick, Phillies 58. Micah Owings, Diamondbacks 59. Paul Byrd, Indians 60. Kyle Lohse, Reds/Phillies 61. Aaron Cook, Rockies 62. Barry Zito, Giants 63. Tim Wakefield, Red Sox 64. Jeremy Bonderman, Tigers 65. Jarrod Washburn, Mariners 66. Doug Davis, Diamondbacks 67. Miguel Batista, Mariners 68. Jake Westbrook, Indians 69. Chuck James, Braves 70. Jeff Suppan, Brewers 71. Jason Bergmann, Nationals 72. Tom Glavine, Mets 73. Dave Bush, Brewers 74. Justin Germano, Padres 75. Mike Mussina, Yankees 76. Chad Gaudin, A's 77. Jason Marquis, Cubs 78. Nate Robertson, Tigers 79. Braden Looper, Cardinals 80. Noah Lowry, Giants 81. Matt Belisle, Reds 82. Jamie Moyer, Phillies 83. Sergio Mitre, Marlins 84. Andy Sonnanstine, Devil Rays 85. Jesse Litsch, Blue Jays 86. Paul Maholm, Pirates 87. Chris Capuano, Brewers 88. Matt Morris, Giants/Pirates 89. Lenny DiNardo, A's 90. Josh Fogg, Rockies 91. Boof Bosner, Twins 92. Livan Hernandez, Diamondbacks 93. Buddy Carlyle, Braves 94. Claudio Vargas, Brewers 95. Kevin Millwood, Rangers 96. Woody Williams, Astros 97. Daniel Cabrera, Orioles 98. Julian Tavarez, Red Sox 99. Jose Contreras, White Sox 100. Steve Trachsel, Orioles/Cubs 101. Matt Chico, Nationals 102. David Wells, Padres/Dodgers 103. Dontrelle Willis, Marlins 104. John Danks, White Sox 105. Brandon McCarthy, Rangers 106. Ervin Santana, Angels 107. Kameron Loe, Rangers 108. Anthony Reyes, Cardinals 109. Kip Wells, Cardinals 110. Jeff Weaver, Mariners 111. Mike Bacsik, Nationals 112. Odalis Perez, Royals 113. Jorge De La Rosa, Royals 114. Edwin Jackson, Devil Rays 115. Vincente Padilla, Rangers 116. Scott Olsen, Marlins 117. Adam Eaton, Phillies 118. Kyle Davies, Braves/Royals 119. Byung-Hyun Kim, Rockies/Diamondbacks/Marlins 120. Mike Maroth, Tigers/Cardinals

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Bowl Bubble

I decided to give up on doing a Top 25 since my Top 10 wouldn't be a whole lot different from the BCS Top 10 at this point. So instead I'm going to go conference by conference to see what teams are on the bubble to make it to a bowl game. Any BCS conference team with seven wins at this time is a lock and some with six wins are as well although it all depends on if their conference is going to have too many or too few bowl eligible teams. There are no preset open bids this year although a couple may open if a conferece can't fill it. If any bids do open up something to keep in mind is if there is an available 7-5 team, that bowl take them over a 6-6 team which is how Middle Tennessee got to the Motor City Bowl (Big Ten didn't couldn't fill their bid) last year over a few a BCS conference 6-6 teams. Of course no one should feel sorry for any team who didn't finish with a winning record being left home this holiday season.   ACC   Bowls: BCS/Orange, Chick-Fil-A, Gator, Champs Sports, Music City, Meineke Car Care, Emerald, Humanitarian   Locks: Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Virginia, Virginia Tech   Near Locks: Georgia Tech, Wake Forest   On the Bubble: Maryland, Miami, North Carolina, N.C. State   Now even though they both have six wins the reason why I have FSU as a lock and Wake Forest as a near lock is purely because of FSU's brand name. If the ACC were to end up with more than eight bowl eligible teams a 6-6 Wake Forest team could get left out but Bobby Bowden and company would definitley get an invite at 6-6. Georgia Tech has Duke and North Carolina the next two weeks so they should be fine. N.C. State has come out of no where to have a realistic shot at getting to six wins with home games against UNC and Maryland left. Maryland is reeling and I think they'll come up short. Miami is in big trouble after their loss to N.C. State as their last three games are against Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Boston College. UNC has to run the table to have a shot.   Big XII   Bowls: BCS/Fiesta, Cotton, Holiday, Gator or Sun, Alamo, Insight, Independence, Texas   Locks: Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Tech   Near Locks: Colorado, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M   On the Bubble: Kansas State, Nebraska   Colorado has Iowa State and Nebraska left so seven wins is very realistic. A&M will end up 6-6 most likely with Missouri and Texas left so there's an oustide chance they could be left without a place to go but the Big XII might end up with two teams in BCS bowls plus the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth is likley to be open (which I'll get to in the Pac-10) so I'd be very surprised if they are staying home. Oklahoma State should pick up win #6 against Baylor in two weeks, if they don't upset Kansas, but again a small chance they might not have an available bid. K-State has Nebraska, Missouri, and Fresno State left and all bets are off after their embarrassing performance against Iowa State. Nebraska is likely toast although beating K-State could provide a glimmer of hope.   Big East   Bowls: BCS, Gator or Sun, Meineke Car Care, International, PapaJohns.com   Locks: Cincinnati, Connecticut, West Virginia   Near Locks: Rutgers, South Florida   On the Bubble: Louisville, Pittsburgh   Again the great purge of the Big East leaves the conference with by far the most pathetic line up of bowl games of any BCS conferece. It'll get worse this year as there's a 99% chance that the Gator Bowl will excercise it's option to grab the Big XII #2 team this year. USF will get win #7 at Syracuse this week but left them out of the locks just in case the roof caves in, literally. Rutgers has Army and Pittsburgh in the next two weeks so seven wins is expected. Louisville has a tough final three games at West Virginia, at USF, and vs. Rutgers so getting that 6th win is far from guarenteed. On top of that a 6-6 Big East team without an available in conference bid is very likely to be staying home. Pitt is only alive in the most clinical of terms.   Big Ten   Bowls: BCS/Rose, Capital One, Outback, Alamo, Champs Sports, Insight, Motor City   Locks: Illinois, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Ohio State   Near Locks: Iowa   On the Bubble: Indiana, Michigan State, Northwestern   Now here's a conference where it's almost a lock a 6-6 team will stay home. The mediocrity of the middle of the conference and everyone getting to beat up on sorry ass Minnesota has allowed a lot of teams to near bowl eligibility. They'll get helped out if Ohio State and Michigan both get in the BCS. Iowa looked awful most of the season but like N.C. State has turned it around and with Minnesota and Western Michigan left there's no reason they shouldn't get seven wins. Indiana could get left out in the cold if they can't pick up a 7th win and it's not a lock with a road trip to Northwestern and then at home against Purdue. They haven't been to a bowl game since 1993 so they have to be rooting for two teams from the conference to get into the BCS. Northwestern has Indiana and Illinois left while Michigan State has Purdue and Penn State left so both are longshots at this point if they don't win both games.   Conference USA   Bowls: Liberty, GMAC, Texas, PapaJohns.com, Hawaii, New Orleans   Locks: East Carolina, Houston, Tulsa, UCF   Near Locks: Southern Miss   On the Bubble: Memphis, UTEP   Reason #712 There are Way Too Many Fucking Bowl Games: Conference USA has six bids. This is a conference where half the teams aren't in the BCS Top 100. Memphis is ranked 103rd in the country yet they still have a shot at a bowl game. So since ECU, Houston, Tulsa, and UCF have six they are locks as it would be next to impossible for them not to get in that this point even if any of them lost out. Southern Miss still needs to get win #6 but they should pick it up against Memphis this week. UTEP only has four more wins and after Tulane this week they have Southern Miss and UCF left so the odds are against them which would be good news for those teams hoping for another open bid.   MAC   Bowls: Motor City, GMAC, International   Locks: None   Near Locks: Bowling Green, Central Michigan   On the Bubble: Ball State, Buffalo, Miami of Ohio, Ohio, Toledo   Awful, awful year for this conference as BGSU and CMU are the only two teams with winning records at the moment but both should win at least two of thier last three games to get to seven wins. After that it is anyone's guess as two gets the 3rd bid although Miami of Ohio does control their own destiny to win the East division to get to the title game but they better win their last two regular season games against Akron and Ohio or otherwise they'll be 6-6 and in a must win situation for the conference championship to remain bowl eligible.   Mountain West   Bowls: Las Vegas, Poinsettia, Armed Forces, New Mexico   Locks: Air Force   Near Locks: BYU, New Mexico, Utah   On the Bubble: San Diego State, TCU, Wyoming   BYU would have seven wins already if their game against SDSU wasn't postponed and they are a good bet to run the table in the conference. We could actually end up with more than four seven win teams in this conference which could create some problems for 6-6 BCS conference teams hanging their hat on grabbing an open bid. On the other hand one of the open bids will very likely be the Armed Forces Bowl (which again I'll get to) which will already have a Mountain West team so that will eliminate one option for this conference. There should end up being at least four seven plus win teams so any 6-6 team will definitely not be bowling.   Pac-10   Bowls: BCS/Rose, Holiday, Sun, Las Vegas, Emerald, Armed Forces   Locks: Arizona State, California, Oregon, USC   Near Locks: Oregon State   On the Bubble: Arizona, Stanford, UCLA, Washington, Washington State   With the conference being so top heavy this year and with the odds being very good at the moment that they will get two teams in the BCS, it is highly unlikely the Pac-10 will be able to fill all their bids. As previously mentioned the Armed Forces Bowl is pretty much a given to be open but the Emerald Bowl might also be available if UCLA fails to become bowl eligible. The Bruins have ASU, Oregon, and USC so it is looking bleak, although given their propensity to play to their competition watch them win two out of three. Oregon State has the Washington schools the next two weeks so they should win at least one of those games to become bowl eligible. The rest of the schools all need to run the table but it is unlikely any will do so.   SEC   Bowls: BCS/Sugar, Capital One, Cotton, Outback, Chick-Fil-A, Music City, Liberty, Independence   Locks: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee   Near Locks: Arkansas, Kentucky, South Carolina   On the Bubble: Mississippi State, Vanderbilt   Picking the locks and near locks are tough here as it is possible we could get 11 bowl eligible teams here which would obviously leave some 6 win teams without a SEC tie in bowl to go to. I went with Alabama and Tennessee as locks even though they still need that important win #7 over the other three as those two would be more attractive to bowls than the other three. Of the near locks South Carolina has the toughest road to get win #7 as they have Florida and Clemson left although both games are at home. Mississippi State will at least get win #6 when they play Ole Miss but the next two weeks are huge for them against Alabama and Arkansas as they must win one of them or otherwise they are very likely staying home. Vanderbilt also has the odds stacked against them while trying to end their 24 year bowl drought as they will definitely need to get seven wins to have a shot but they have Kentucky, Tennessee, and Wake Forest left on their schedule.   Sun Belt   Bowls: New Orleans   Locks: None   Near Locks: Troy   On the Bubble: Arkansas State, Florida Atlantic, Middle Tennessee   Don't look now but the Sun Belt finally has a good team in their conference, that being Troy. I only have them as a near locks simply because they have to beat MTSU and FAU still to wrap up the conference but I expect they will. It's a real shame that Troy gets stuck going to the New Orleans Bowl as they would easily be the best team in both the MAC and Conference USA. FAU and MTSU could still win the conference if they upset Troy.   WAC   Bowls: BCS?, Humanitarian, Hawaii, New Mexico   Locks: Boise State, Hawaii   Near Locks: Fresno State   On the Bubble: Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, Nevada, San Jose State   Pretty much in the same boat as last year with this conference as a lot will depend on whether they get a team in the BCS or not. Fresno has Hawaii and Kansas State the next two weeks so their season finale against New Mexico State may have to be where they get win #7. The rest all need to become bowl eligible and hope either Hawaii or Boise gets into the BCS.

Bored

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Bowl Bubble Update

Here's a quick revision to the Bowl Bubble entry after yesterday's results.   ACC   Bowls: BCS/Orange, Chick-Fil-A, Gator, Champs Sports, Music City, Meineke Car Care, Emerald, Humanitarian   Locks: Boston College, Clemson, Virginia, Virginia Tech   Near Locks: Florida State, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest   On the Bubble: Maryland, Miami, N.C. State   Maryland's upset of Boston College has increased the chances of possibly ten bowl eligible teams in the conference which means getting win #7 is even more important now. I still don't see FSU getting passed over at 6-6 as at worst they'll get grabbed by the Humanitarian Bowl. Miami looks finished after last night's debacle against UVA as they show no signs that they can pull off a road upset of Virginia Tech or Boston College.   Big XII   Bowls: BCS/Fiesta, Cotton, Holiday, Gator or Sun, Alamo, Insight, Independence, Texas   Locks: Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech   Near Locks: None   On the Bubble: Colorado, Kansas State, Nebraska   Colorado gets bumped down to the bubble after their loss to Iowa State, who's suddenly become a bit of a pest in the conference. Their game against Nebraska in two weeks will now be for a bowl bid for the winner. Because of the Colorado and Kansas State losses, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M have locked up bids. The conference will definitely get two teams in BCS bowls which gives them nine potential bids and that will be the maximum number of bowl eligible teams the conference can get at this point. The Texas Bowl can become an open bid of K-State fails to become bowl eligible.   Big East   Bowls: BCS, Gator or Sun, Meineke Car Care, International, PapaJohns.com   Locks: Cincinnati, Connecticut, South Florida, West Virginia   Near Locks: Rutgers   On the Bubble: Louisville, Pittsburgh   Only change here is USF locking up a bid as expected. Rutgers locks up a bid if they take care of Pitt at home next week.   Big Ten   Bowls: BCS/Rose, Capital One, Outback, Alamo, Champs Sports, Insight, Motor City   Locks: Illinois, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Ohio State   Near Locks: Iowa, Purdue   On the Bubble: Indiana, Michigan State, Northwestern   Big Ten is the one conference that wraps up it's season next week so we will probably have a pretty good idea of who is going where after Saturday. The losses of Ohio State and Michigan have crippled the odds that the conference gets two BCS bids although there is still a slim chance if Michigan wins their game as OSU still could end up in the Top 14 if enough things go their way the final two weeks. Michigan winning would also be great news for the WAC, which I'll get to. If they don't get two in the BCS that means as many as three teams from the conference could be eligible but end up staying home so win #7 is an absolute must. Iowa has the easiest game with Western Michigan at home while Northwestern has the longest odds with a trip to Illinois.   Edit: I bumped Purdue down to near lock as if they lose to Indiana they drop to 7-5 and there might not be a bid available if enough of the six win teams get that seventh win.   Conference USA   Bowls: Liberty, GMAC, Texas, PapaJohns.com, Hawaii, New Orleans   Locks: Houston, Tulsa, UCF   Near Locks: East Carolina, Memphis, Southern Miss   On the Bubble: UTEP   Memphis' surprising win over Southern Miss almost assures the conference will get a very undeserving 6th bid as the Tigers finish with UAB and SMU at home. I dropped ECU to near lock after their shocking loss to pitiful Marshall but they should beat Tulane at home to get win #7.   MAC   Bowls: Motor City, GMAC, International   Locks: None   Near Locks: Bowling Green, Central Michigan   On the Bubble: Ball State, Buffalo, Miami of Ohio, Toledo   Only change is Ohio's bubble bursting. Buffalo is 4-6 but I think they are still mathematically alive to win the East division and I'm too lazy to look up the MAC tiebreaks so I'll just leave them there.   Mountain West   Bowls: Las Vegas, Poinsettia, Armed Forces, New Mexico   Locks: Air Force, BYU   Near Locks: New Mexico, Utah   On the Bubble: San Diego State, TCU, Wyoming   Somebody should force Conference USA to give up one of their bids to the Mountain West. There's a potentially odd situation setting up in this conference which is why I'm not locking up Utah and New Mexico just yet. TCU still has a realistic chance at seven wins which means Utah or New Mexico need to get to eight wins to breathe easy. They play each other next week and for Utah it is much more important that they win because they finish at BYU. New Mexico on the other hand finishes with UNLV at home.   Pac-10   Bowls: BCS/Rose, Holiday, Sun, Las Vegas, Emerald, Armed Forces   Locks: Arizona State, California, Oregon, Oregon State, USC   Near Locks: None   On the Bubble: Arizona, UCLA, Washington State   Oregon State locked up a bid while Stanford and Washington's slim hopes ended. Already went over UCLA's plight last week and they almost beat ASU but that might have been their last hope. If Wazzu upsets the Beavers at home next week then they still would have a shot in the Apple Cup and UW might have lost Jake Locker for the season last night to a neck injury.   SEC   Bowls: BCS/Sugar, Capital One, Cotton, Outback, Chick-Fil-A, Music City, Liberty, Independence   Locks: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Tennessee   Near Locks: Mississippi State   On the Bubble: Arkansas, South Carolina, Vanderbilt   Kentucky locked up a bid while South Carolina might find itself in some serious trouble now due to Mississippi State's win over Alabama. Even with the loss the Tide will pick up win #7 against UL Monroe next week so they are still a lock. I've moved the Bulldogs up to a near lock as win #7 should be a given in two weeks against Ole Miss. Arkansas is now on the bubble as if they don't beat the Bulldogs at home next week they will have to upset LSU to lock up a bid. South Carolina's bowl hopes may now rest on beating red hot Clemson at home in two weeks. Vanderbilt will have to beat Tennessee and Wake Forest to have any hope as there is no chance they grab a bid at 6-6 over any of the other teams.   Sun Belt   Bowls: New Orleans   Locks: None   Near Locks: Troy   On the Bubble: Florida Atlantic   MTSU and Arkansas State were eliminated this week so the conference title will come down to the Troy/FAU game on December 1st. Troy is at seven wins now so they would have a shot at an open bid now if they were upset.   WAC   Bowls: BCS?, Humanitarian, Hawaii, New Mexico   Locks: Boise State, Hawaii   Near Locks: Fresno State   On the Bubble: Louisiana Tech, Nevada, San Jose State   Only change is New Mexico State's bubble bursting. As I alluded to in the Big Ten entry, everyone in the conference should be rooting for Michigan to beat Ohio State. If that happens it will all but guarantee a BCS bid for the winner of the Boise State/Hawaii game as there is a rule in the BCS that if a non-BCS conference champ finishes in the Top 16 and is ranked higher than any other BCS conference champ they get an automatic bid. Now of course either still has a shot at finishing in the Top 14 if they win out which also give them a BCS bid. All that being said the status of Colt Brennan could throw a lot of things in flux as he has to be doubtful for their game at Nevada on Friday. If he's out and they lose that game, then say Brennan comes back for the Boise State game and the Warriors win, then the WAC will screw itself out a BCS bid.

Bored

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Bowl Bubble III

ACC   Bowls: BCS/Orange, Chick-Fil-A, Gator, Champs Sports, Music City, Meineke Car Care, Emerald, Humanitarian   Locks: Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest   Near Locks: None   On the Bubble: Maryland, Miami, N.C. State   Maryland/N.C. State is a loser goes home game this Saturday and the winner likely goes to a bowl. I only say likely because if Miami some how gets it's shit together and upsets Boston College that will give the conference nine eligible teams with eight bids. Even if Miami upsets BC they are a longshot as they played in the Humanitarian Bowl last year so they'd have to hope the Emerald Bowl grabs them over a 7-5 team and then the Humanitarian would have to pick that team over the Maryland/N.C. State winner. You can't officially rule out any conference yet at getting two BCS bids but the only scenario the ACC has is if Virginia Tech beats Virginia this week and then loses to Boston College in the conference title game. The Hokies conceivably could still be in the Top 14 at the end of the year, and definitely Top 18 if the BCS is forced to expand the at large pool. Now assuming Miami loses and the Virginia Tech scenario plays out where they get a BCS at large bid then that would leave the Humantarian Bowl as an open bid.   Big XII   Bowls: BCS/Fiesta, Cotton, Holiday, Gator or Sun, Alamo, Insight, Independence, Texas   Locks: Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech   Near Locks: None   On the Bubble: Colorado, Kansas State, Nebraska   I mistakenly said last week Oklahoma State had locked up a bid as for some reason I thought they already had six wins but they do. No changes from last week, Colorado/Nebraska will play for a bid on Friday, and Kansas State needs to beat Fresno State to become eligible. If they lose the Texas Bowl will be an open bid as there's no scenario where the Big XII doesn't get two BCS bids.   Big East   Bowls: BCS, Gator or Sun, Meineke Car Care, International, PapaJohns.com   Locks: Cincinnati, Connecticut, Rutgers, South Florida, West Virginia   Near Locks: None   On the Bubble: Louisville   Rutgers locked up a bid with their win over Pitt. Louisville needs UConn to beat West Virginia to win the Big East as that would likely give the conference two BCS bids as the Mountaineers would probably still be around the bottom of the Top 10. Then the Cardinals need to beat Rutgers a week from Thursday to become eligible. If West Virginia wraps up the Big East this Saturday, Louisville is done.   Big Ten   Bowls: BCS/Rose, Capital One, Outback, Alamo, Champs Sports, Insight, Motor City   Locks: Illinois, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Ohio State   Near Locks: Indiana, Michigan State, Purdue   On the Bubble: None   I have the three 7-5 teams as near locks because the Big Ten as things stand at the moment won't have enough bids for all three. Now it is still possible that Illinois, if enough things go there way, can slip into a BCS bowl which then would give the conference enough bids. If that doesn't happen Purdue is probably the odd team out but they'd be a good bet to grab the likely Armed Forces Bowl open bid. What they have to worry about is if the SEC ends up with a 7-5 team without a conference bid and if the Armed Forces ends up being the only open bid which then the Boilermakers could be sitting at home.   Conference USA   Bowls: Liberty, GMAC, Texas, PapaJohns.com, Hawaii, New Orleans   Locks: East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, Southern Miss, Tulsa, UCF   Near Locks: None   On the Bubble: None   Everything is set here beyond where everyone is going. Southern Miss and Memphis are ranked 86th and 90th respectively in the BCS yet they are locked up for bowls.   MAC   Bowls: Motor City, GMAC, International   Locks: Bowling Green   Near Locks: None   On the Bubble: Ball State, Central Michigan, Miami of Ohio   So in the MAC not everyone plays the some number of conference games, some play seven and some play eight. Now because of that the divisions are decided by divisional record only, not conference record. Follow me so far? Central Michigan and Ball State, the 1st and 2nd place teams in the West division, don't play each other this year. Who the fuck came up with this? As for the bids, Bowling Green is going, um, bowling and the rest is a mess.   Mountain West   Bowls: Las Vegas, Poinsettia, Armed Forces, New Mexico   Locks: Air Force, BYU, Utah   Near Locks: None   On the Bubble: New Mexico, TCU   While Conference USA steals bids, someone in the Mountain West is probably going to have it's heart broken and it will likely be an 8-4 New Mexico team (assuming they beat 2-9 UNLV). Now you'd think New Mexico would get to go to the New Mexico Bowl but the bowl put a rule in for itself that it couldn't pick the Lobos more than onece in three years. So because of that if TCU gets win #7 as expected over San Diego State, there will likely be no bowl game for New Mexico unless there ends up being three open bids or enough of the 6-5 teams lose their last game then they'd need two as obviously Purdue would get one before them. Again Memphis is ranked 90th in the country and is going to a bowl game, while an eight win team (or maybe an 7-5 SEC or Big Ten team) probably isn't.   Pac-10   Bowls: BCS/Rose, Holiday, Sun, Las Vegas, Emerald, Armed Forces   Locks: Arizona State, California, Oregon, Oregon State, USC   Near Locks: None   On the Bubble: Arizona, UCLA   Before Dennis Dixon went all Boobie Miles on Thursday, the conference seemed assured two BCS bids. Now it's still a good bet but we have to wait and see how Oregon recovers this week against UCLA. If the conference doesn't get two bids that would be bad news for the open bids hopefuls as it seemed for a while now not only the Armed Forces Bowl would be open but also the Emerald Bowl. I'm reading conflicting reports where some indicate the Emerald picks before the Las Vegas Bowl this year which would leave Vegas open but I'm not so sure about that. In any event if Oregon is a shell of it's former self now without Dixon, then UCLA can get win #6. U of A is suddenly hot but they'll need to pull off another big upset against rival ASU in order to get eligible for the first time since 1998.   SEC   Bowls: BCS/Sugar, Capital One, Cotton, Outback, Chick-Fil-A, Music City, Liberty, Independence   Locks: Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee   Near Locks: Arkansas, Kentucky   On the Bubble: Alabama, Mississippi State, South Carolina   I had Alabama as a lock the last couple of weeks as I though there was no way in hell they'd lose to ULM. Well so much for that. Now the conference is all but guaranteed two BCS bids so they'll have nine total but we could end up with nightmare scenario where we have six 7-5 teams with five available bids between them. Now any 7-5 SEC team will get picked over all others trying to get an open bid but there are scenarios where there could end up being no open bids so because of that I'm going conservative here. Auburn I have as a lock as I feel they'd be safe at 7-5 in that scenario while I could see Kentucky or Arkansas getting snubbed in this nightmare scenario. Hopefully either Auburn beats Alabama and/or Clemson beats South Carolina to send one of those schools to a very long offseason. The biggest shame would be if Mississippi State got snubbed in the nightmare scenario.   Sun Belt   Bowls: New Orleans   Locks: None   Near Locks: Troy   On the Bubble: Florida Atlantic   No changes, Troy/FAU play each other December 1st for the conference unless FAU is stunned by winless FIU this week. Hopefully Troy avoids the upset in that game as they deserve to go to a bowl game and a better one than the New Orleans Bowl against one of the awful 6-6 C-USA teams but that's not gonna happen.   WAC   Bowls: BCS?, Humanitarian, Hawaii, New Mexico   Locks: Boise State, Hawaii   Near Locks: Fresno State   On the Bubble: Louisiana Tech, Nevada   Of course the big game is this Friday. If your Louisiana Tech and Nevada your probably rooting for Hawaii as their chances are better than Boise's at getting into the Top 12 to get the BCS bid and a 4th bid for the conference. Neither has any business going to a bowl game mind you.

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