Playing A Little Catch Up

28 11 2009

Sorry for the slow (ok…nonexistent) posts over the last few days. Chalk it up to sleep deprivation and the holiday. We had some ideas for posts, but due to the above reasons plus apathy we decided against them. So this is what we’re thinking: what will probably be a long(er) quick hit series of our take on the many, many things we’ve missed. Let the bullet pointing begin.

Retired?

Allen Iverson to retire…kinda. We’re honestly kinda sad to see AI hang them up, if he actually does. It seems obvious to us that he’s still got something left in the tank, but playing in Memphis wasn’t going to help anybody. Some of his old coaches reportedly want to discuss his future with him, and we’re all for that. If, and this is a huge if, he can get in the right mindset to come off the bench and be a team player, he could be great off the bench for a contender. If he’s actually done, then he’ll go down as one of the best pure scoring guards in NBA history. Points wise, he’s the second highest scoring active player, behind only Shaq (Kobe will likely pass him soon). We’ll remember him as a dominant player, and one of the few guards we recall who could totally take over a game and carry a team (along with Kobe).

– Thanksgiving NFL Action. The Lions did what they’ve recently done on Thanksgiving, and lost. But looking beyond the score, we think Jim Schwartz and the Lions might be building something there. The foundation is there. Playoffs in two to three years. The second game of the day reminded Raider fans everywhere that Bruce Gradkowski, is not that good, although he certainly is better than JaMarcus Russell (not that hard).  The Cowboys looked good, but not great in winning an easy game. The last NFL game of the day, seen by approximately 9 people because it was on the NFL Network, provided a lot of insight into who both teams were, and are. The Giants have no idea who they are, as they appear to be a power running team who can’t run the ball – it looks to us like Brandon Jacobs aged 10+ years over the offseason. We’re not exactly sure what to make of the Broncos – the passing game looked good against the Giants secondary, but who hasn’t? The running game was solid if unspectacular (more carries for Knowshon please). Defense looked good, in shutting down a talented, in enigmatic Giants offense. We like them to finish up at 10-6 (7-4 now, with two left against KC and one against OAK)

We Only Talk About Stafford to Post Pictures Like These...

– College Football Rivalry Weekend. A lot of these games are close, which is why we love this weekend, even if the games aren’t great on paper. #3Texas and Texas A&M staged a classic shootout that prevented our nap on Thanksgiving. Auburn and #2 Alabama went down to the end yesterday afternoon. West Virginia took down highly ranked Pittsburgh in The Backyard Brawl. Boise State and Nevada also kept us up late last night (we’re suckers for blue turf and some pistol offense). Right now we’re watching South Carolina try and hang on at home against a vastly superior Clemson team (ranked #18) [UPDATE: South Carolina just rubbed it in a little, throwing a TD pass on 4th and goal with 2:40 left, now 34-17]. Mississippi State is taking #25 Ole Miss behind the woodshed in the Egg Bowl. Oklahoma is beating #12 Oklahoma State in the Bedlam game, which we’re all for since it ups Boise’s chances for a BCS game. Coming up later today and tonight, #1 Florida hosts Florida State and in the best named game of the year, #7 Georgia Tech hosts Georgia (game is called “Clean, Old Fashioned Hate” – just better than the “Holy War” between BYU and Utah – also played today). These games make college football, and we try to watch them all.

The Iron Bowl

 

– The Heisman Trophy. We’ve debated doing a full post on this, but we’ll shorten it up to get it in this post. We think Mark Ingram might have cost himself the Trophy with his game against Auburn yesterday(16 carries for 30 yards). Colt McCoy, on the other hand might have won it for himself with a dominant performance on Thursday night (470 total yards, 5 TDs). We personally don’t think that Tebow belongs in the conversation based on numbers, but he’ll be invited at the very least – based on his leadership, his ministry, and his ability to yell in the locker room. We’d vote for John Nesbitt (QB – Georgia Tech), Ndamakong Suh (DT – Nebraska), or CJ Spiller (RB – Clemson) before Tebow, and maybe one of them will manage to pull an invite.

We think we’ve covered most of what we missed. We’ll have our NFL picks on Tuesday, along with a preview of next weekend’s “championship weekend” in college football. We’ll also try to get up some College Basketball Stuff, as we’ve totally neglected that so far.





Forecasting – Tim Tebow

23 11 2009

With the final home game for one of the most decorated college football players in history this Saturday, we’ve decided to look ahead to what will be the future for Tim Tebow in the National Football League.

There are two basic ideas that we want to get across about Tebow.

1) He’s not a first round NFL draft pick.

2) Barring a change in his skill set, Tim Tebow is not an NFL Quarterback.

That being said, a little exploration of our statements is probably necessary. We do not think that Tim Tebow belongs in the first round of the draft. That does NOT mean that we think he will be taken later. In all likelihood, he will go somewhere in the 20’s. Perhaps to a team like Jacksonville, which is in dire need of headlines and good press and could play the “local boy” angle to get some fans in the stadium. We also think that it would be best for Tebow if he did not go in the first round. The change to an NFL style offense will be rough (and a possible position change, but we’ll cover that later), he doesn’t need the pressure of being a first round pick and potentially a “franchise savior.”

Tebow's Future?

On our other point, it’s the truth. (You see what we did there?) Urban Meyer’s offense is unique, and that means he’s not helping his QB’s if their goal is the NFL. Look at the most recent Meyer QB to go to the NFL, Alex Smith. Right now Smith is a career 55% passer with a QB rating of 66.5 (stat link) Not quite JaMarcus Russell bad, but still not close to good. Even this year, when he’s supposedly playing “well”, he’s only thrown two more TD’s than INT’s, and he’s had a passer rating higher than 90 once. (Week 7, in the second half @ Houston). We’re not saying that Tebow will be Smith, but it’s a comparison.

Which bring us to the idea of a possible position change. He’s essentially to slow to be a running back in the NFL, not to mention his running style would lead to a short shelf life in that role. We do not know how good his hands are, but Tight End is certainly an option. He’s quick enough to get open, and physical enough to block. Still we’re not buying it.

“But couldn’t he be a Pat White type ‘Wildcat’ QB?” Simply put…no. Teams run the wildcat to confuse defenses in an effort to create big plays. Pat White helps this effort because he is a gifted open field runner. Tebow is not.

Tebow will NOT be this.

Pat White is also rather fast. As we’ve already covered, Tebow, while not “slow” certainly isn’t “fast” either. If teams wanted to average three yards and a cloud of dust with their wildcat playbook, then Tebow would be the guy. But that’s not the goal of the offense. So to say it again, Tim Tebow is not a QB in the NFL.

To wrap this up, we think Tebow will go in the first round, but he doesn’t deserve to be there. He’ll probably have to change positions, TE is a possibility, as is a defensive front seven position, but that would likely take awhile. Our best guess – you won’t see Tim Tebow making an impact on a football field after the National Championship game for at least three years.





Odds and Ends – 11/16

16 11 2009

When we’re lacking stories for a full post, we’ll post some thoughts on the stories of the day. This is that post.

belichick

Belichick's Reaction

Colts 35, Patriots 34. What a great game. First regular season game that we remember that that has lived up to the ESPN produced hype. The issue here is the call by New England to go for it on 4 and 2 from their own 28 yard line with just over 2 minutes left in the 4th. Maybe it’s just me, but I think this is a signal of something. The Patriots don’t make that call. They understand clock management better than everyone else. It’s not Andy Reid on the opposite sideline, it’s Bill Belichick – a guy with 3 Super Bowl rings. You have to at least make Peyton Manning work for the go ahead score. But they didn’t…and they lost. The old (read: 2001-2005) Patriots punt and hold their opponent. The 2007 Patriots go for it and make it, and then score an “eff you” touchdown (hat tip Bill Simmons). These Patriots panicked, and we think they might be slipping.

378

The Newest Bobcat

Stephen Jackson Traded. Meh. Was hoping that Jackson got dealt to a contender…we think he’s still a difference maker, even if he’s a headcase. Instead he’s dealt to Charlotte, where he’ll be the only offense. Liked Acie Law in college, he’s now buried on the bench behind Ray Felton and DJ Augustin (another guy we loved in college). Too Bad. Golden State doesn’t really get much out of this. Perhaps addition by subtraction by dealing Jackson. Raja Bell plays defense…he’s now the only guy in northern California that does. The Warriors have a lot of young talent that fits their system, but between Don Nelson hating young guys and deal like this that just crowd the rotation, they are not going anywhere.

Bob Stoops to South Bend? (Chicago Sun-Times via Colin Cowherd) Reports saying that Bob Stoops and Kirk Ferentz top the short list to replace Charlie Weis at Notre Dame don’t make a lot of sense to us. Ferentz is a defense first guy, and it’s nearly impossible to field a high caliber defense, plus he’s not a “blue chip” kinda guy, he molds unheralded kids into stars. Stoops would be more interesting, but we’d save the roughly $40 million (~$20 million to Weis in a buyout plus Stoops rumored ~$18 million buyout) and go Brian Kelly. Kelly has proven he can win anywhere, and he’s got the offense that would fit the Irish’s current roster. Stoops would probably lost both of his coordinators, meaning he’s going to have to rebuild a little, which means a longer wait for a return to the BCS. Lastly, isn’t Weis being run off for his terrible record in big games? (two wins since 2006 against teams that finished over .500) Why go out and get Stoops who has notably flopped in any big games since the exit of Jason White and Adrian Peterson?





Your Mandatory USC Football Post

15 11 2009
The End of Dynasty?

Do Toby Gerhart and Stanford signal the end of the USC Dynasty?

Some people called it before the season, and some hailed the end two weeks ago after a trashing in Eugene. Everyone is saying it now. USC is dead, their reign at the top of the Pac-10 is over, and an unforeseen date with the Las Vegas Bowl is in their future. Everyone else has caught up to the former king, and the conference is wide open for the foresee able future.

Hold the phone. Maybe we’re going out on a limb here, and just refuse to believe that one of the most dominant teams of the past decade is suddenly defunct. While this season is certainly a “disappointment” in Southern California, this program is far from “dead.”

Pete Carroll saw it coming. An injury plagued group of pass catchers that, even when healthy were not striking fear into the hearts of defenses a la Dwayne Jarrett, Steve Smith and Mike Williams. A stable of mediocre running backs. A banged up offensive line. A defense that sent 8 players to the NFL. It does not matter if you “never rebuild, only reload” You cannot replace that kind of attrition. So Carroll did what made sense then and still makes sense today. He played a true freshman, Matt Barkley, over guys with experience in the system (Aaron Corp and Mitch Mustain). Carroll has always played the experienced veterans, but not this year. He with the young gun. Something most teams with losing records do at the end of the year. If anything, it speaks to what Carroll has built that the team was in the top 5 at one point and will still likely win 9, possibly 10 games, with a true freshman under center and all of the previously mentioned issues.

Given time to rebuild his defense, and get some playmaking skill guys (all due respect to Damian Williams, but you need more than one) Pete Carroll will have his team back on top, possibly as soon as next year.