For all my insanely loyal followers, I take weekends off because my internet becomes suspiciously spotty over the course of the weekend. Perhaps I could hire Paul Gleason to give a firm and quite threatening speech, but unfortunately wireless internet connection isn’t a lucid being. We have finally arrived to a new week with new things to talk about like College Football, The NBA, College Basketball, and WHAT THE HELL ALEX MORGAN WAS ENGAGED? Remember when Alex Morgan was my pick for Athlete of the Year? Yeah…me too…that seems such a long time ago. Anyway, today the braintrust of one delves face first into the world of the current NBA.
As they say in Star Wars: A New Hope, “He doesn’t like….I don’t like you either.” I’m almost starting to get an OSU-Michigan vibe from Paul George; what’s more important, Paul, beating the Heat or winning a championship? Tonight (yes I do realize this is the topic for Monday, but I had work to do and couldn’t quite make it to my computer…go fall in a ditch) the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat will meet for the first time since that fateful night when Miami eliminated the upstart Pacers from the playoffs last June. Will it be intense? To be clear, it’ll be a lot like lion taming or this pusheen gif. Miami and Indiana are, arguably….actually forget arguably….Miami and Indiana are the two best teams in the east. Only the Atlanta Hawks are over .500 aside from these too Goliaths. Some have argued they have feasted off the horrid Eastern conference, but the teams are a staggering 10-2 against the West (although both losses have come in the only games against Western Conference leaders Portland and Oklahoma City). The Heat are a puzzling 11-5 against the East, while the Pacers are certainly taking advantage of the lackluster league, sporting a record which makes even the most hardhearted Ohio State fan cry: 12-1. Now why do I mention this? Well, here are some things:
Paul George and LeBron are currently the leading horses for the ever interesting, pthhhhh, race for the NBA MVP. What has been a forgone conclusion since LeBron’s relocation seems to have ushered in a decent contender in George….it might not even be far-fetched to say PG is actually leading the pack around turn 1. If you’re looking for the biggest and best matchup of NBA stars, Kobe-LeBron is no longer appealing since Kobe is as spry as I am and Durant hasn’t had the sex appeal and intense nature which has made past NBA player rivalries so enticing to watch. Pauley hates the Heat and something tells me LeBron isn’t too fond of playing Indy….with pride and proof on the line it will be fun to see what happens between these two basketball behemoths tonight.
Also, The Pacers have something to prove. As defending champ, Miami is reprehensible until we see their name scratched from the bracket in May/June. The Pacers? They lack certain finger jewelry to make them even arguably one of the NBA’s best teams. It’s been the cross of many players, coaches, and teams, but until you’re wearing a ring, you’re about as proven as a Spartan who hasn’t wrestled the great wolf. Look for the Pacers to start out with an intensity the champs won’t match. I don’t forecast the Heat being too worried about a December road game; after all, they know exactly when winning matters for them (hint: it’s the playoffs). The Pacers are out to show they can beat Miami, and even if it is in December when the Heat might not be playing with fire…unless you’re using the old cliche “playing with fire” because that’s what the Heat will likely be doing tonight…I’ll stop before I dig myself a bigger hole…
|Take a drink for each person wearing a black suit coat.|
|My Friend Game: One person is designated “My friend”. Every time Corso says, “Not so fast, my friend” everyone besides the designated person finishes his drink. The last person to finish becomes the new “My friend” for not being fast enough. When Lee says “Not so fast, [ ]” with any ending besides, “Friend”, the Friend must drink until Lee stops talking.|
|Pollack’s Bitch Game: One person is designated as David Pollack Bitch. Every time David Pollack insults a team, player, or coach, Pollack’s bitch drinks for five seconds and then passes the roll onto some of his choice.|
|Analyst Game: Pick an analyst (Kirk, Lee, or Desmond). Each time your analyst is shown alone on camera or previews a game take a drink….if you’re analyst goes off screen, the person who takes his place at the table is now your analyst (for better or for worse).
Additionally, if two analysts are shown on screen, you must compete in paper-rock-scissors with a person who has selected the other analyst. IF you lose, you take a drink.
|Signs and Flags|
|Take a drink for each Washington state flag in the background|
|Take a drink for each sign referencing Auburn|
|Take a drink for each sign referencing the Iron Bowl
|The Samantha Ponder Game:|
|Take a drink each time Samantha Ponder is shown.|
|If when she’s shown, you think Samantha Ponder is a Smokeshow continue drinking until she is off screen.|
|During the show:|
|If at any point during the show, an analyst picks your alma mater or favorite team to win, finish your beer. (If picked during Saturday Selection, you only need to finish only a single beer)|
|Make sure to continue following the “My Friend”, “Pollack’s Bitch”, and “Analyst” games|
|Take a drink every time Blake Bell, Blake Bortles, Bob Stoops, or Clint Chelf are shown|
|Take a drink whenever “_____ conference championship” is said|
|Take a drink each time the word “Iron Bowl” is mentioned or the final play of the Iron Bowl is show.|
|Drink for the amount of seconds you think are equal to the length of Paul Finebaum’s ears (in inches) when he is shown the first time.|
|Take a drink every time a stadium is shown.|
|Take a drink each time Ohio State and Auburn are compared|
|Take a drink whenever Jameis Winston or his charges are mentioned|
|Take a drink whenever the “Prayer in Jordan-Hare” is mentioned or shown.|
|Take a drink every time Kirk says “Win Big”|
|Take a drink every time Lee Corso says “Closer than the experts think.” or “By a field goal”|
|Take a drink each time Lee Corso stumbles over his words.|
|Take a drink whenever someone mentions Michigan State’s defense.|
|Finish a beer if the guest picker is Larry Bird|
|Take a drink every time The Bear is shown.|
|Perform the Saturday Selections. Each time you agree with your analyst, take a drink. Each time you disagree, take 3 drinks. If you fail to make a pick, take 5 drinks. (Desmond’s partners will be paired with the guest picker.)|
|During the MSU-OSU pick, if it is mentioned that Lee Corso’s first headgear pick was OSU, finish a beer. If Corso dons the Brutus head, finish a beer. If Corso picks up the Brutus head and then throws it before putting on the Michigan State gear finish 3 BEERS. If he just puts on the Spartan gear finish 2 Beers.|
Baseball is in no shortage of ridiculous contracts. The A-Rod debacle in New York, the Pujols and Hamilton gambles by the definitely not Anaheim Angels, and the Prince Fielder contract in Detroit all point to a common and overwhelming trend: players are not worth the money. How often does a baseball player come around who truly changes the outlook and feel of a team single-glovedly? Rarely if ever. Griffey in Seattle? Trout now in definitely not Anaheim? Cabrera in Detroit? Phenomenal players, but world altering? Today’s Topic spotlights recent contracts and why baseball has gotten out of hand. What if I told you that a below average hitting, recently injured centerfielder signed a 4-year $60 million dollar contract? It might not make for a very compelling 30-for-30, but it’s something ESPN probably isn’t labeling “ridiculous”. Curtis Granderson, the career .261 hitter (.245 the last 4 years in New York) just made such a deal with the crosstown New York Mets. What should the Mets expect from their $60 million investment? Nothing too special. Granderson was an all-star in 2011 and 2012, okay, I get that…but he batted .261 and .231. His power is likely to see a downturn and he strikes out way too much to be a leadoff bat. What am I saying? I’m saying getting an average player at Centerfield would likely have been a better return of investment. Granderson doesn’t bring people to the ballpark. He’s not a Micky Cabrera or Yu Darvish. He’s one of the worst types in baseball: a high-K power hitter. So what’s my point? If you look around baseball, you’ll notice a developing trend of enormous and long contracts. Joey Votto 12-years $251.5 million. Pujols 10-years $240 million. Prince Fielder 9-years $214 million. The heinous $275 million, 10-year debacle for A-Rod. Even C.C. Sabathia’s 7-year $161 million contract in 2008. C.C. was only 28 at the time, but pitchers wear faster than hitters. I mean look at what happened to Justin Verlander’s stats this season…oh and for the record the Tigers’ “Ace” is on a 7-year $180 million contract at the moment. I feel stupid saying it, but Joey Votto has been the best player of those ‘I just listed since his signing and it is difficult for me to say he’s a player that brings penultimate star power to a roster. Perhaps the only player I just named who can bring fans to a stadium is, dear God, A-Rod. He’s a ticking time bomb who has, without a doubt, becomes sports’ biggest villain and dynamo. It’s his ignominy which attracts fans…and his ignominy is not worth $27.5 million a year. Large baseball contracts are, in a word, stupid. Players in baseball are not players in the NBA. They get tired of long seasons and the fleeting nature of a terrific baseball season is omnipresent in the league. It’s hard for a player to reel off more than three or four great seasons in a row, especially after he hits his early thirties. Pujols isn’t the same guy as the Cardinal great who was the fastest player to 400 homeruns. He’s now a busted investment who has experienced injuries and freefalling production. There is not just a trend in baseball, there is a fact: long term deals are not to be trusted. Unless you’re locking up a 23 year-old Felix Hernandez for 10 years, that number shouldn’t even cross the imagination much less a piece of paper requiring you to pay the guy unimaginable coin. Also, baseball players aren’t like the NBA because there isn’t star power. Fans in baseball aren’t attracted by a player or a pitcher. A player bats four or five times a game and a pitcher is only out there once every five days. LeBron, KD, James Harden? These guys are in the lineup every night and people will pay just to watch them play for 35 of 48 minutes. I don’t want to buy my $30 baseball ticket just to watch Joey Votto bat four times. I want to watch the entire Reds team play because they’re a winning franchise (or at least should be). So, why is this Today’s Topic? It isn’t Curtis Granderson. He’s a small fish compared to the other too big name signings this week: Jacoby Ellsbury and Robinson Cano. The Cobes signed a 7-year $153 million deal with the Yankees…pocket change for the what the Bombers usually shell out. Ellsbury is a very solid centerfielder…the best? Probably not. Worth roughly $22 million a year? Once again, probably not. I don’t know what the market value is for centerfielders is these days, but $22 million a year for a speedy leadoff hitter seems a little ludicrous. I was praying my Redlegs might make a stab at Ellsbury, but giving him $22 million a year? I’ll stick with the Billy Hamilton project. He’s relatively young (30), so the 7-years isn’t obnoxious, but I don’t understand when baseball became such a absurd paying sport….they need a salary cap, right? Cano’s deal might be the worst in league history…yeah, I just said that with the A-Rod nonsense fresh in both of our minds. Cano’s initial hope was to get the Yankees to dish out $300,000,000 over 10 years. I put the zeroes to make a point. That would not only be the largest contract in history, Robinson Cano and his zero MVP’s, zero fan attraction, and extremely average defense would be making it. At least when the Yankees signed A-Rod he was the best offensive player to ever play the game (obviously P.E.D.’s, but the signing was made without any knowledge of those…admit it, A-Rod was still in the midst of prodigy when the Yanks signed him). Thankfully, the Yankees aren’t THAT idiotic and lead Cano down the road of negotiation…which leads to Seattle now’a’days? Cano signed a 10-year $240 million deal today with the Mariners because fuck it they stole Ichiro from us in a trade we agreed to and we’re not in the least bit happy about it and we want our damn hero back so we’re stealing your overpriced second basemen because Jay-Z too. That sentence was such a run-on and so terrible, it lost even me….anyway, Cano’s deal to me is the worst in Major League history…why? Because he’s just not worth it. The Giants won the World Series last year…their second baseman? Marco Scutaro. What else do we know about Scutaro? He was the starting second baseman for the National League this year (over Brandon Phillips somehow) and his contract is a whooping 3-years $20. If you go with the 162 game averages, Cano will spot you (BA/HR/RBI/R) .031/15/35/14 more than Scutaro. Obviously Cano is a better offensive player, no one is saying otherwise, but is he worth the extra $17,000,000+ a year? Scutaro is 38, granted, but the point isn’t to pick up Marco Scutaro. the point is that these large, long contracts aren’t worth their weight in gold or the players weight in gold. Cano isn’t going to make the Mariners a World Series favorite. The Angels locked up hundreds of millions in Pujols and Hamilton and finished third in the AL West. What is the moral here, boys and girls? Big baseball contracts are about as useful as Brick Tamland toasting mayonnaise. The Mariners might not right now, but as the past dictates, they will one day rue the Robinson Cano contract. It’s really a shame these suckers will only be getting bigger and worse as the years roll.
Today Jameis Winston was revealed as being “not guilty” and it surprised literally no one. As my friend so eloquently said, “If he was being charged with rape why would they wait a day to announce it? I mean it’s rape.” So in other words the National Title picture and Heisman Race were undeniably unaffected by what was supposed to be a momentous announcement. I suppose now we’ll have to go back to talking about Auburn and OSU…or something far more important.
Nelson Mandela was a political figure who was undervalued and unappreciated by the world he lived in. Maybe not in South Africa, I’ve never had the privilege of being there, but certainly in America. In a country where racism diluted the honor and integrity of a country for centuries and even exists today, a man with the courage of a Nelson Mandela should be revered and admired outside the textbooks. As a student, I learned a little about Nelson Mandela. The name rang a bell and the words touched the soul, but the true story was never readily spoken. He was a man whose integrity knew no bounds and his humility made us believe he was more like us than his own divinity seemed to portray. I wish I had some magical words to write about Mandela. Something which would touch the soul and make you understand the way he changed not just South Africa, but the world. No figure in that nation will ever be as titanic or timeless as Mandela. He was a person who transcended our world and, having read about him prior to my schooling, makes me feel so small. His intentions were never to become powerful or famous, simple side-effects of an all-too-powerful personality and a unfailing desire to better the world. I hope you can take the time to read about Nelson Mandela. To find how he was a man beyond men whose name deserves to be revered beyond many we take the time to honor. Please, read beyond this short passage, because it does not do honor to the man. I’ll never understand completely the size of the man and the strength he possessed, but I am fully aware there will never be another Nelson Mandela.
|#16 Central Florida @ SMU||Even||UCF||I’m not really too hyped about UCF at this point. There is good news and bad news for Cincinnati natives like myself: if UCF loses and Cincy wins the Bearcats are going to a BCS Bowl! How neat is that? UCF is now 7-4 against the spread on the year. All four of those loses have come as a double figure favorite and UCF is 2-0 as a dog or even spread…so why not? It’s almost like win-win.|
|#13 Michigan State vs #2 Ohio State||Bucks -5.5||OSU||I picked against MSU last week and won, right? Michigan State is 7-4-1 against the spread this year. The one tie came in the Spartans only loss…I don’t think it is possible to tie a spread on a half, so I’m just rounding up to taking the Bucks. Ohio State has lost the last 3 against the spread this year, but I have confidence the explosive offense will trump the MSU defense much like OSU defense was often thumped by SEC schools in the past.|
|#11 Baylor vs Texas||Baylor -15||Texas||So it would seem Baylor has fallen into the same soul trap as Oregon. The loss hangover has the Bears forgetting their identity. Well, just in time for a Texas team which still has an outside shot at the BCS Bowl berth should they beat Baylor and Okie State loses. Baylor has the same shot if they win….basically both teams are weirdly fond of Oklahoma this week.|
|#10 Mizzeruh vs #T3 Auburn||Aub -2.0||Mizzou||So you want to play for a National Title, do you? I’m picking the Tigers to pull off a minor league upset. The talk around the nation has Auburn more concerned with the polls and Ohio State than Missouri…and I’m just also not convinced with this Auburn team; after all, they’re a couple of miracles away from a possible 9-3 record. These are both huge surprises, but someone’s magical season has to end and Auburn has used up most of its good fortune.|
|#9 Stanford @ #8 Arizona State||ASU -3.0||Push||I have no idea if I’m allowed to push, but I am. It gives me one helluva lot less chance of being right, but I’m honestly taking Arizona State (to quote my good friend Lee Corso) by a field goal. Stanford pummeled ASU in Palo Alto earlier this year, but not so fast my friend. Arizona State has been has had a little luck at home this year…ask Wisconsin.|
|#7 Oklahoma State vs Oklahoma||Okie St. -9.5||Okie State||Okie State is 8-2 against the spread and a miscellaneous unregistered spread against UTSA. They haven’t lost since Kansas State in week 6. Oklahoma isn’t very good. The clear pick is Oklahoma State much to the chagrin of Baylor and Texas.|
|#1 Florida State vs Duke||FSU -29||Duke||Since I’m not a soft ass b***h, I made this pick Terrelle Pryor to the announcement about Jameis Winston tomorrow…but picked Duke anyway. Florida State should roll Duke, hence a 29 point spread in conference championship game, but I don’t think Duke will go down without a fight…Florida State has lost against the spread in perhaps the most unlikely game this year: Boston College…aside from that they haven’t though.|
Every Other Game
|Louisville @ Cincinnati||UL -3.5||Louisville||I’m not taking the time to stat check all these games. Louisville should be a far better team than a UC squad which was Scheelhaased earlier this year.|
|Bowling Green vs Northern Illinois||n. IL -3.5||N. Illinois||Jordan Lynch for Heisman? Pending Jameis Winston’s status as a raper.|
|Marshall vs Rice||Marsh -4.5||Rice||I have a very, very, very, very, very, very weak connection to Rice: a girl who is one of my friends has knows a guy who is studying there to be a doctor and I talked to him on the phone while drunk once…Go Owls!|
|Memphis @ UConn||Even||Memphis||This is about the saddest game I’ve seen since Texans-Jaguars on Thursday Night Football…who ever though the Jags would be considered the trendy pick in that puppy?|
|South Florida @ Rutgers||Rutgers -6.0||Rutgers||As a future Big Ten member, you’d better be able to squash South Florida into the ground, Rutgers. If not, I’ll throw basketballs at your players again.|
|Lafayette @ South Buhmuh||USA -3.0||ULL||You’re putting the spread against my boys the Cajun Cajuns? I’m going to have to have words with this spread creator.|
|Utah State @ Fresno State||Fresno -3.0||Fresno||I have a hard time picking against one of my most favorite named Quarterbacks Chuckie Keeton, but it’s just that Fresno State is more than three points better than Utah State.|
College has become something of a hassle for today’s student athlete, especially those who are seen as “superstars”. A stick on the rollerblading path of success, a boring trailer waiting for the movie to start. What ungodly comparisons could some of the brightest minds make for an athlete having to sit through lectures and recitations and exams? Who knows? Cardale Jones, Ohio State’s third-string Quarterback, may have said it best that he “we ain’t come here to play SCHOOL”. Cardale came to one of our nation’s Universities, known as “higher education” to some idiots, to play football. Naturally, I mean that’s why college’s are around, right? Today’s Topic takes us to a college in Eugene, where a top five pick spurned the NFL….and for what? To play school?
I’ve never considered myself a huge Marcus Mariota fan, I guess mainly because I’ve never been a huge fan of Oregon; in fact, I root against Oregon more often than I root for them. Why? I have no idea. I have no connection or disconnection to Oregon, but I always find myself hoping they go down in flames week-in-week-out….except when I pick them against the spread, of course. The Ducks have become a polarizing team thanks in large part to Nike owner Phil Knight. He has showered the Ducks with countless gifts including the nation’s most gaudy and awesome uniforms, facilities which no other school can match, and an overwhelming sense of entitlement. Lost in the Phil Knight scramble are the Oregon players. They have seen to become an amorphous blob of annual speed racers. Every year Oregon has the nation’s quickest running back and most versatile quarterback. Why pay any attention? These guys are all system products, products which begin with the tantalizing props Phil Knight provides via his astounding wealth and generosity to the University’s athletic programs. So why would anyone pay any attention to Marcus Mariota? He’s just another Oregon quarterback who can throw and run, but will find his comeuppance in the NFL because he’s just another stat machine bred by the Oregon program, right? Well, suddenly the entire nation is agape at a decision made by Mariota and he’s captivated the entire country with a decision many thought ridiculous. To quote an ESPN commercial, “He’s coming back.”
What are Mariota’s reasons for coming back? I thought he would have told the media what it wanted to hear, “I want to win a championship”, “I just couldn’t leave knowing we have left so much unfinished this season”, etc. He’ll talk football, because he’s a football player. He ain’t at Oregon to play SCHOOL, and the media doesn’t pay attention to him because he’s playing SCHOOL. Mariota is only making headline news because he’s a football player who is staying in school. Manziel, Hundley, Bridgewater…all names which appear on the 2014 draft board rather than a 2014 attendance sheet. I’m not condemning these players. If I were in their place, the riches of the NFL would be difficult to pass up, but he (Mariota) is shunning these riches. He’s Matt Barkley-ing the NFL; although, I think we can all hope he meets a better end to his decision than Barkley has. Believe it or not, my assumptions about Mariota’s decision were as wrong as the constant dick sightings in the movie Wanderlust starring my boy Paul Rudd.
In some back recess of my mind, I’m hesitant to laud Mariota; after all, who knows how much SCHOOL factors into the decision. Quoth Marcus, “It is an honor to be a student at the University of Oregon and to have the opportunity to represent our institution on the football field alongside my teammates […] I look forward to earning my degree next year and to the rest of my career at this great University.” Tears are coagulating in my eyes and suddenly I have a huge man crush on Mariota. He could be being facetious, pandering to the world of unread blogs such as this because it makes him look like a great guy. No one is beyond facetiousness; however, for the sake of my own sanity and the sake of what I have already written, I’d like to personally declare myself a huge Marcus Mariota fan and praise the young man for making a decision which few would dare…actually staying in college to play some SCHOOL.
College basketball seemed to hit a pinnacle of parody last season as we watched #1 after #1 go down week after week. Louisville, Duke, Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, et al managed to climb to the top of the AP standings as we saw games and losses we never thought were possible. This year, we started with one of the greatest nights in College Basketball as four of the top five played…each other. Michigan State-Kentucky and Kansas-Duke in early November was a night many will never forget. Even though the games lacked a certain March drama, there was an aura of March all around. The night featured some of the best players, especially the young talent on Kansas, Duke, and Kentucky. The expectations and unfair standards of college freshmen takes the stage in Today’s Topic.
College freshmen these day are about as “timid” as Gus Johnson on a Chris Johnson breakaway touchdown. Many arrive feeling they own the campus and the students owe them something since they are bringing the “Andrew Wiggins” brand to Lawrence, Kansas…obviously I’m not singling Wiggins out on that statement, just an example…from Canada. Players who are prepared to be pure NBA stars are tracked well before they ever step foot onto a college campus and expectations are meteoric. Wiggins was hailed as “The Next LeBron” long before he even donned the Jayhawk jersey and the Wiggins-Parker rivalry was gracing the web the moment the players made their commitments. “They’re playing in November? Man, gonna be some rivalry between those two, huh?” Freshmen have become stars before they even have the opportunity to become stars, household names before they even have a home. The question, is it fair?
Over the summer of 2013, this name began to creep into my ear with an eerie consistency. I seemed incapable of escaping it, but I had no idea who the bearer of the name was. A Google search for “Andrew Wiggins” quelled my curiosity and dispelled my ignorance: a high school commit to Kansas University….”The Next LeBron”. “The Next LeBron? Don’t we still have a LeBron? Do we really need a next LeBron?” I thought to myself. I waited anxiously for this college basketball season to begin and Andrew Wiggins to take the college world by storm the same way LeBron did the professional level. In mid-October I was riding around in The Shadow (my car) and heard the name “Andrew Wiggins” once more and began thinking about the comparisons already being made for the young man: “The Next LeBron”. What if he wasn’t the next LeBron? What if Andrew Wiggins was just another 6’8″ freak athlete with a silky shot who finds his isn’t quite as dominating at a different level of basketball? Look at players like Tyler Hansborough and his scary ass face, Michael Beasley, or even this year’s #1 overall pick Anthony Bennett. These were guys who dominated at the college level, but have found the NBA to be an entirely new animal which is not just a tier untouchable to them to be dominant, but even maintain a standing as a serviceable player. Was Andrew Wiggins a surefire “Next LeBron”? No one could make such a lofty claim, right?
It goes to show you how unfairly today’s media age treats young athletes. Wiggins won’t be a success even if he reaches the NBA next season and averages solid numbers. 15, 5, and 5 is not the type of stat line anyone would find acceptable from “The Next LeBron”. The kid isn’t supposed to be a perennial all-star but a perennial MVP. The line is drawn in the sand for Wiggins, the benchmark set. It lies with whatever LeBron has done throughout his career and ends with what LeBron will do throughout his career. Is there such thing as a LeBron 2.0? Many doubted the existence of a Jordan 2.0, but LeBron has come as close as anyone could’ve dreamed to fulfilling those expectations. Will Wiggins? I have no idea, you have no idea, but is it fair to expect him to? Absolutely not, because Wiggins didn’t place the label of “The Next LeBron” on himself. I have no sources reporting to me that Wiggins was waltzing around Canada, ringing a bell, and screaming, “I’m going to be as good as LeBron James….if not better!” It reminds me of a quote from The Great Gatsby, “When he wed his unutterable vision to her perishable breath, he knew his mind would never again romp like the mind of God.” That is to say, Andrew Wiggins has absolutely no hope of reaching the expectations people have place upon him. Our mind’s have created this kitschy and phenomenal image of who Andrew Wiggins is as a basketball player; however, there is no way the reality of who Andrew Wiggins will be can meet those gaudy visions. We’ve turned his pressure immeasurable, his situation impossible, and his failure inevitable. We’ve turned Andrew Wiggins into something he isn’t: “The Next LeBron” before we even gave him a chance to be “The First Andrew Wiggins”. It’s completely unfair to Wiggins and all other players who receive such unattainable comparisons and expectations. Andrew Wiggins may end up being one of the best of all time, but that makes it no more proper or fair to put the weight of such a title on him before he has even had the opportunity to prove what type of player he is. At this juncture, I’m excited to watch this season of college basketball where some of the greatest freshman talent of all time has arrived; to watch “The First Andrew Wiggins” play.
Welcome to the war. I’m trying to make this blog a bigger part of my life. My friends say impossible, but then I remember I don’t have any friends. This is the first of the new piece “Today’s Topic”. As you may have noticed, there is much debate over the 2013 National Championship Game. Auburn or Ohio State? That “SPORTSCENTER CENTERPIECE” is also the issue faced by the braintrust today.
Auburn Makes Its Case:
We’re from America’s SEX-iest conference. The SEC has been the best ever since Vince Young and the amazing Rose Bowl of 2005…and what did the SEC just do? Made you forget how unforgettable the ending to that ball game was! Did you see the Iron Bowl? Our spectacular ending was clearly more important than Ohio State’s! I mean we played the #1 team in the nation which has won 3 of the last 4 National Championships. Forget the SEC recent dynasty, that one is far more impressive…and we beat Buhmuh! We have only one loss to a renowned SEC powerhouse in Louisiana State ON THE ROAD and have beaten, aside from Buhmuh, Georgia, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, and Tennessee! Who has Ohio State beaten? Wisconsin? Michigan? Buffalo? Northwestern? These are teams the SEC plays early in the year to pick up a most basic dubba-yuh. You can say all you want about “24-0” and that jazz, but how many wins have come against even decent teams? Twice against Wisconsin, one against Nebraska, and…who else? Sure it’s not easy to go undefeated, but it’s even harder to have one loss against real teams. The Big Ten are glorified farm boys trying on football pads for the first time. I’d rather play a Big Ten team than have to match up against any of the known SEC “bottom feeders”. We’re the best team from the best conference. Ask any Heisman voter, the best of the best gets all the glory. Besides, our athletic director thinks we should go…so we should, right? Hahaha.
Ohio State Makes Its Case:
So you’re from the SEC? I get it, we’re 0-7 against the SEC in our last seven tries, but we’re an entirely different team now. We’ve been built like an SEC team. Haven’t you noticed? Just as your conference was 7-0 against a Big Ten style Ohio State, an SEC-style Ohio State is 16-0 against the Big Ten and when we beat Michigan State (ranked 10th in the BCS, by the way), we’ll be 17-0 and 5-0 against ranked opponents. Unfortunately, our case isn’t made by talking about ourselves too much; after all, we can’t win if we start talking about beating Wisconsin and Michigan as you have already mentioned. We have to talk about you. First off, have you noticed how similar we are, Auburn? We have the same style of play. The only difference is our Quarterback has NFL caliber throwing strength and accuracy compared to your former defensive back. If you’re team is so great, what makes you think our better offense couldn’t have beaten those heavyweights? Because of the logo on our 25-yard line? Also, you talk about how great you schedule is. Not only is your schedule not unbelievably stronger than ours (38th compared to 63rd), but your “best wins” aside from Bama have combined for 13 losses (A&M, Georgia, Ole Miss). Oh, that’s also 13 more losses than we have this year. I guess all I have to say is your Iron Bowl and “Prayer in Jordan-Hare” proved is how difficult it is to win…we’ve done it every game this year.
From the Braintrust:
So here we stand, the braintrust made up of one blogger. There are people all over the country arguing for Auburn or Ohio State. Ohio State hasn’t played anyone…but they’ve beaten everyone. Ohio State has earned the right to play in the National Championship Game by going 12-0, just as Florida State has. The problem revolves around the lack of those teams “SEC” logo on the 25-yard line. Both Florida State and Ohio State have benefited from weaker schedules than their SEC counterparts, but thanks to Florida State’s overall dominance, Ohio State has become the goat. I don’t want to claim I’m all knowing or that I have he answers because no one does. Only when the polls are out after this Saturday will anything be decided.
So, while you all have opinions and will undeniably disagree with me, here’s what I have to say. Ohio State has earned the right to play in the National Title game by going undefeated. There is a lot of drama contributed by putting Auburn 3rd this week. Perhaps Auburn jumps Ohio State next week. How dramatic, right? It wouldn’t be dramatic if Auburn was already second. The fact of the matter is that Auburn’s resume is not as impressive as the SEX-iest believers might believe. Only two things can be drawn from the SEC this year: either the SEC is down or the rest of the country isn’t quite as bad as many have stated. The eye test would tell us the SEC hasn’t looked great in any fashion. This includes Buhmuh on a neutral site against a God awful Virginia Tech team. Someone has to be watching and think “Maybe these teams who look dominant against Chattanooga and the ilk aren’t as phenomenal as we think this year.” Auburn was 0-8 in conference last year, remember? Many hail it as a great turnaround….maybe the SEC isn’t quite as good as you think. Ohio State deserves a shot at the National Title. If Notre Dame deserved a chance because of the NOTRE DAME brand last year; why doesn’t Ohio State, a team built on speed and offensive explosiveness, doesn’t earn the same chance? Is it because Florida State isn’t in the SEC? Because last year we already had an SEC team and this year we have an ACC team playing? Was last season’s 1-loss Oregon so much less dominant over Notre Dame than Auburn is over Ohio State this year that the Ducks were rightfully placed in the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin? I don’t understand the perception people have of Ohio State. Ohio State is undefeated playing the only schedule they are allowed to play. I hope there is a day when the SEC and Ohio State can play a neutral site game, but the SEC prefers to rest on its conference laurels and schedule horribly outside the conference. Alabama’s game against Va-Tech and Georgia’s game against Clemson were exceptions, not rules. Look at LSU, Texas A&M, AUBURN. They played just as awful as non-conference schedules as Ohio State. Give Ohio State’s its due. Some believe Ohio State will go to Pasedena and get slaughtered rather Florida State or Auburn or Missouri or whomever is waiting. If this is true, let’s watch the slaughter because Ohio State is the team who deserves to go play in the National Championship Game. If Auburn can go and win the Sugar Bowl then more power to them too. We’re wrong again. Oh well…it happens all the time, right? That’s where the BCS sucks, right? Wrong. The beauty of the BCS system is every game counts. Even games against LSU in the middle of the year. Because Auburn lost early, suddenly they deserve a title shot. Ohio State has played the BCS System correctly. They have won every game and that’s what the BCS system appreciates. It doesn’t appreciate the best team (probably Buhmuh). It doesn’t appreciate blowing out every opponent (Florida State). It doesn’t appreciate last second victories (Auburn). Auburn messed up the moment the clock hit 00:00 and it was down 21-35. Look, no one here is saying Ohio State is a better team than Auburn (although based on what one has seen as the Bucks are like a little bit better offensive Auburn with a little worse defense…so there really isn’t any reason to believe Ohio State couldn’t beat Auburn). All I’m saying is Ohio State has earned the opportunity to prove it belongs in the National Title more than Auburn has earned the opportunity. If Ohio State is proven to be worthless and doesn’t deserve the chance…fine, give the Bucks and myself shit then. Don’t do it before anything has been proven……………..Oh and we don’t even know what the scene will be following the Championship Games this weekend.
I have a lot on my plate today, so I guess I’ll dive right in…don’t expect too much.
#16 Central Florida, 10-1 (def. South Florida 23-20): A disaster for the Knights this week at home against one of the worst teams in FBS. Central Florida doesn’t look at all like a surefire winner in the American with a roadtrip to sneaky good SMU awaiting this week. My fellow Bearcat fans will know exactly where they stand after playing for the Keg of Nails on Thursday…all I know is Central Florida has never been a bigger fan of Louisville.
#15 Louisiana State, 9-3 (def. arKANSAS 31-27): The Ole Miss loss in the Egg Bowl (America’s least favorite rivalry name) was certainly not helpful for LSU’s standing with the committee. LSU also takes a freefall thanks to some nice wins for teams resting behind the Tigers including Mizzeruh and the Arizona State, Stanford, and Oregon wins all help out UCLA. LSU makes REALISM one more week, but we’ll have to see what happens come this weekend.
#14 UCLA, 9-3 (def. USC 35-14): Ed Orgeron, USC now bids you farewell as head coach. As for the Bruins, they manage to get through 2013 with only losses to REAL teams. The others on the list who can claim that right? Central Florida, Mizzeruh, Baylor, Clemson, Buhmuh, and Auburn…..oh and Florida State and Ohio State are undefeated.
#13 Michigan State, 11-1 (def. Minnesota 14-3): Not exactly a high scoring affair. Michigan State’s usually awful offense seems to offer the Spartans zero opportunity of beating Ohio State this weekend in Indianapolis; however, a loss would in now way knock the Spartans from REALISM. At this juncture, I’d expect Michigan State to get blown out, but then again, I’ve been surprised by things more odd than a Spartans win come Saturday night.
#12 Oregon, 10-2 (def. Oregon State 36-35): The Ducks are back on the winning track! Barely. Squeaking through the Civil War far less easily than the Union. Oregon now prepares for…nothing. Oregon is unlikely to make a BCS Bowl, although they are in a position for a REAL BCS Bowl…don’t get too excited, Oregon.
#11 Baylor, 10-1 (def. TCU 41-38): Baylor appears in Oregonian hangover mode at the moment. If that’s true I have terrible news for Baylor against a pretty good Texas team this week. The Bears were utterly unimpressive against TCU and the “explosive” offense was out gained by its the “incendiary” TCU counterparts. The Bears are slip-sliding away. I continue to preach the season was by no means a waste, but there is not a BCS Bowl in the future, mostly thanks to Buhmuh’s loss to Auburn.
#10 Mizzeruh, 11-1 (def. Texas A&M 28-21): So Mizzeruh is 11-1. Very impressive in the big bad SEC…but it’s the SEC East. The teams Mizzeruh beat from the West? Texas A&M (but at this point what good team hasn’t beat them?) and Ole Miss (who just lost to Mississippi State). No LSU…No Auburn…No Buhmuh. Georgia and Florida are shells of their former selves in the East. And they lost to South Carolina. I’m not convinced on Mizzeruh as a top tier team quite yet. How’s ’bout you’s all WARS DAMN EAGLE?
#9 Stanford, 10-2 (def. Notre Dame 27-20): I was awful against the spread this week, but I nailed this puppy. Anyway, the Cardinal fall below the Arizona State Sun Devils because I am picking Arizona State to win and want to have the rankings reflect that…despite Stanford beating a Notre Dame team Arizona State already lost to:/
#8 Arizona State, 10-2 (def. Arizona 58-21): Because the Pac-12 isn’t a real conference and plays important games on Thursdays, they also don’t have a neutral site to play the PACIFIC-iest Championship Game at this weekend; therefore, Arizona State’s one-loss-record gives the Sun Devils the right to host Stanford in the deep, desert-y, deserted south. I’m picking you, Arizona State….don’t fail me now.
#7 Oklahoma State, 10-1 (BYE): The Cowboys have the opportunity to clinch both a Fiesta Bowl and REAL-Fiesta Bowl berth by beating Oklahoma in BEDLAM this weekend. Don’t expect there to be too much insanity or disorder; unless you consider Blake Bell throwing interceptions to be either of those things. Oklahoma State has one of the nation’s most opportunistic defenses in the country. That loss to offensively terrible West Virginia mars a good season.
#6 Clemson, 10-2 (lost South Carolina 17-31): Our first loser this week, Clemson falls only one spot. Jesse “I was on the Bachelor” Palmer reported Clemson was “blown out” by South Carolina….I saw a resilient team which managed to keep the game imaginably close despite suffering six turnovers. Call me an optimist…call me a idiot…I’m probably both.
#5 South Carolina, 10-2 (def. Clemson 31-17): South Carolina dominated Clemson!….no, wait. Anyway, the Gamecocks did win the game and only have losses to Georgia and Tennessee marring the season. Look, I’m not a huge fan of the SEC favoritism, but it clearly is the best conference year in-year-out. Beating Missouri and Clemson is nothing to shake a stick out. Beating Tennessee would’ve definitely helped the national outlook, but let’s give South Carolina its due. Likely the best team in the SEC East.
#4 Buhmuh (see below)
#3 Auburn, 11-1 (played the Iron Bowl): I wanted to keep Buhmuh ahead of Auburn. Buhmuh is clearly the better team which found itself beaten in really only one way: field goal kicking. The most underrated and overlooked part of college football dooms teams year-in-and-year-out. Oregon for the past decade has ended up denied by field goal kicking. Buhmuh this year. The Kyle Brotzman fiasco….then again, can I keep Auburn behind Buhmuh after just beating the Tide? But was the Tigers loss to LSU worse? We’ll see what happens come Saturday.
#2 Ohio State, 12-0 (def. Michigan 42-41): If there is anything proven during the Iron Bowl this year, it’s how hard it is to go undefeated. I have more respect for Ohio State and Florida State with the -0 next to the first number than I do for the -1 next to Auburn in the SEC. Auburn played Buhmuh and LSU, the best teams on the Tigers…and lost to one of them. Georgia, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M? They have combined for 13 losses and only 3 of them could be to Auburn. Shhhh.
#1 Florida State, 12-0 (def. Florida 37-7): I hate Florida so much for losing to a 27.5 spread at home…seriously, Florida? You were already one of my least favorite teams around and now you play me this way? Ugh. Anyway.