Saturday, January 31, 2009

Anyone for Darren Sproles?

Click Here
The 25-year speedster is officially on the free agent market. If his asking price isn't to high I would like to make a run at him. He's a great kick-returner, we wouldn't have to use a draft pick on a running back, and he would be a good complement to Benson if we re-sign him......

Bengals Hall of Fame

Finally realizing that they need to take away some attention from this terrible product on the field the Bengals have decided to create a hall of fame. You will not be able to visit this hall of fame, it will only be virtual. But I am glad that they have finally decided to honor some of the great players in the past.

Paul Brown and Anthony Munoz are automatic inductions because of their place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Starting on Monday and ending Feb. 28, fans can vote for 10 of 32 names that are multiple Pro Bowl players, career record-holders or Super Bowl head coaches, or five at-large selections.

The 10 finalists advance to another fan vote to be held for a month starting in April. The three finalists from that group join Brown and Munoz in the inaugural class to be unveiled after the Bengals' last June camp.

To be eligible, a player must have been with the Bengals for at least a season and been retired from the NFL for five years. Coaches may be active but can no longer be with the team.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Solid Pittsburgh School System

According to the PIttsburgh Post-Gazette the Pittsburgh public school system has announced a two hour delay for Monday following the Super Bowl. I have heard that Steeler football is huge in Pittsburgh but this takes it to a whole new level. I agree that it will make for a late night but I would argue more with the networks on that issue. They prolong the game for as long as possible to bring revenue from commercials, they direct a pointless half hour halftime show, and start the game later in the evening to try and pull prime time ratings. If they kicked off at 4:00 on Sunday I don't think that they would lose any viewers, probably gain even more for the end of the game. I think the leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA, NCAA, etc.) need to put more pressure on the networks to make the games more accessible to thier fans.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Comparing Conferences

This comparison is similar to what Matt did with the teams, but I am doing with Basketball conferences. Below you will find some statistics regarding two conferences and their record against other Conference opponents. I think that this is a pretty intersting statistic to look up. Does this chart indicate that one conference is more dominating than the other? The Big East had 8 teams in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 this week, the SEC had 0.

Conference Record Pct
America East 8-1 .889
Atlantic Coast 6-9 .400
Atlantic Sun 3-0 1.000
Atlantic 10 12-3 .800
Big Sky 0-0 —
Big South 6-0 1.000
Big Ten 5-3 .625
Big 12 3-2 .600
Big West 1-0 1.000
Colonial 5-2 .714
Conference USA 6-4 .600
Horizon 6-2 .750
Ivy 7-0 1.000
Metro Atlantic Athletic 10-1 .909
Mid-American 8-0 1.000
Mid-Eastern Athletic 7-1 .875
Missouri Valley 4-1 .800
Mountain West 1-1 .500
Northeast 10-0 1.000
Ohio Valley 4-0 1.000
Pacifi c-10 2-2 .500
Patriot 3-1 .750
Southeastern 5-4 .556
Southern 5-1 .833
Southland 1-0 1.000
Summit 3-2 .600
Sun Belt 2-1 .667
Southwestern Athletic 6-0 1.000
West Coast 2-1 .667
Western Athletic 0-0 —
Independents 8-0 1.000
Division I Provisional 2-0 1.000
Non-Division I 3-0 1.000
Total: 154-42 .786

Conference Record Pct.
America East...................................0-0 .000
Atlantic 10......................................4-5 .444
Atlantic Coast .................................4-7 .364
Atlantic Sun ....................................5-2 .714
Big 12............................................4-5 .444
Big East ..........................................4-5 .444
Big Sky ...........................................0-0 .000
Big South........................................5-1 .833
Big Ten ...........................................1-2 .333
Big West .........................................2-0 1.000
Colonial .........................................1-0 1.000
Conference USA .............................5-2 .714
Gulf South......................................1-0 1.000
Horizon League...............................0-2 .000
Ivy Group .......................................2-0 1.000
Metro Atlantic .................................3-0 1.000
Mid-American .................................4-0 1.000
Mid-Continent.................................0-0 .000
Mid-Eastern Athletic.........................5-0 1.000
Missouri Valley ................................3-2 .600
Mountain West................................0-3 .000
Northeast .......................................2-0 1.000
Ohio Valley.....................................7-0 1.000
Pacific-10 .......................................2-2 .500
Southern.........................................9-1 .900
Southland .....................................12-1 .923
Southwestern Athletic .....................13-0 1.000
Summit...........................................4-0 1.000
Sun Belt........................................16-1 .941
Patriot.............................................0-0 .000
West Coast .....................................1-3 .250
Western Athletic ..............................0-0 .000
Independents ..................................6-0 1.000
Non-Division I.................................3-0 1.000
Totals 128-44 .744

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Baseball Salaries

The free agent market for 2009 didn't seem to be as bloated in salaries as years past. However, the Yankee's did spend some serious cash on free agents. Here is a breakdown of the highest paid players at each position in baseball. This list is a pretty serious indicator that big market towns bring enough cash to pay big time salaries, of the eleven players listed seven are in New York.

C- Jorge Posada, New York Yankees- $13.1 Million
1B- Mark Teixeria, New York Yankees- $20 Million
2B- Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies- $11 Million
SS- Derek Jeter, New York Yankees- $20 Million
3B- Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees- $32 Million
LF- Carlos Lee, Houston Astros- $18.5 Million
CF- Carlos Beltran, New York Mets- $18.5 Million
RF- Magglio Ordonez, Detroit Tigers- $18 Million
SP- Johan Santana, New York Mets- $20 Million
RP- Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees- $15 Million
DH- Gary Sheffield, Detroit Tigers- $14 Million

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

You know what really grinds my gears: the Top 25 poll committee

I know the Big East is the best conference in basketball but Notre Dame and Georgetown don’t deserve to be top 25 teams at the moment.

Notre Dame was ranked at #22 before their loss last night to Marquette. The Irish are now 12-7, 3-5 in the Big East and have lost four straight. The thing that pisses me off is that if you’re a top 25 team, aren’t you suppose to be able to beat good competition, as in other teams from the top 25. So far this year Notre Dame is 2-5 against Top 25 teams and has also lost to St. Johns and Ohio State. Tell me why they’re deserving of being a top 25 team right now?

The other team, Georgetown, is #23 in the latest polls and currently boasts a 12-6 record, 3-4 in the Big East. Georgetown is 3-5 against Top 25 teams, has lost three straight games with the last one coming against Seton Hall. I keep hearing that G-town has the hardest schedule and that’s why they’re deserving of being a Top 25 team? Yes, there Big East conference schedule is tough but seven of their 12 wins have come against less than worthy opponents (i.e. Jacksonville, Wichita St., Drexel, American University, Savannah St., Mt. St. Mary’s, and Florida International.) So why do they deserve to be a top 25 team at the moment.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Very Interesting

I always love when the NCAA tournament comes around and two teams are compared side by side without mentioning the team names. Most of the time it is surprising. It is amazing how the name of the school and our perception plays into those types of decisions.

Which of these two teams would you chose if the NCAA tournament started today? (I stole this from Lance's blog so dont cheat first)... both teams are in the same conference... I will give results and who the two teams are in a few days when everyone has voted.

Team A
Record: 12-7
Conference Record: 3-5
RPI: 77
Strength of Schedule: 82
vs. RPI Top 100: 2-5

Team B
Record: 14-7
Conference Record: 4-4
RPI: 55
Strength of Schedule: 26
vs. RPI Top 100: 4-7

Argument for Kentucky

Now I don't want to go all backwoods crazy Kentucky fan on you guys, but I do think that they have an argument for being a top 25 team in this weeks poll. Currently the Cats are sitting at 16-4 and 5-0 in the SEC. Now I realize this isn't a very strong SEC but they are currently showing very strong in their conference which is important. Of their 4 losses, two of them are legitamate, Louisville and North Carolina. The other two, VMI on the first game of the year and Miami are poor losses as a whole but both were early in the season. They have quality wins over Alabama, Tennessee, and West Virginia all away from Rupp Arena. They have won 11 of their last 12 and I think should be in the top 25, if anything just to have an SEC team ranked.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Interesting UC perspective

UC basketball has currently matched its win total from last season with a record of 13-7. To put things in perspective, the seven losses have been to teams that have a combined record of 97-18...a 84.3 winning percentage. In addition, the 4 Big East losses are to teams who are a combined 18-3 in the conference. Shows the team has a little ways to go to play with the big guns, but they are making strides and beating the teams they should beat.
UConn 18-1
Xavier 17-2
Providence 13-6 (2x)
Marquette 17-2
Memphis 16-3
Fla.St. 16-4

NCAA College Hoops Tournament Resumes

#13 Xavier (17-2, 5-0, RPI: 4, SOS: 6):

Key Wins: #24 Memphis (16-3), Missouri (17-3), Virginia Tech (13-5), LSU (15-4), UC (13-7)

Key Losses: #2 Duke (18-1) and #17 Butler (18-1)

Key Remaining Games: Dayton (twice)

*If Xavier would've either beat Butler or Duke it could've definitely helped the resume as they don't get much of a test in their conference and especially because they didn't even show up against Duke.

Projected Seed: Bracketology currently has Xavier as a #4 seed and that's where I think they'll end up. They have a shot at having close to 30 wins going into the tournament but being in the A-10 hurts their seeding. Plus, the teams RPI and SOS will be drastically shot in the foot due to them playing in the A-10. The best possible seed I can see them getting is a #3 seed.

Kentucky (16-4, 5-0, RPI: 48, SOS: 91):

Key Wins: West Virginia (14-4), Tennessee (12-6)

Key Losses: VMI (16-3) and #6 UNC (17-2)

Key Remaining Games: Florida (twice), South Carolina (twice), Tennessee, LSU, Miss. St.

*All of UK's losses have actually came against good teams, the other two being Miami (FL) and Louisville. VMI looked bad at the time but it turns out they're a team that will probably make the tournament. UNC is a key loss because like Xavier against Duke, UK didn't show up against UNC.

Projected Seed: Bracketology currently has them at a #6 seed but I think UK will be a #5 seed going into the tournament. The Wildcats have looked good as of late and like Xavier their conference is down this year, meaning they should have 25+ wins going into the tournament.

Cincinnati (13-7, 3-4, RPI: 59, SOS: 31):

Key Wins: UNLV (16-4) and Miss. St. (14-6)

Key Losses: #10 Marquette (17-2) and #24 Memphis (16-3)

Key Remaining Games: #14 Georgetown (twice), #21 Villanova, #19 Notre Dame, #4 Pittsburgh, #12 Louisville, #8 Syracuse, West Virginia

*Again, these two losses are key because UC didn't show up losing to Marquette by 34 and Memphis by 15. All of their losses are respectable coming against others such as Xavier, Florida St., UConn, and Providence twice.

Projected Seed: NIT. Sorry Matt but UC's remaining schedule is brutal and they've yet to beat a ranked team. If they can win three of the key remaining games I have listed above and beat the teams they're suppose to they could make the tourney. Currently, the Cats are tied for the 10th best spot in the Big East and I don't know if the conference will have 10 or 11 teams in the big dance.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Dunn still on free agent market, any takers?

Personally I don't get it. Why has no team in the majors signed Adam Dunn or made a push for the 29-year old slugger.

Over the past five seasons, Dunn's 206 home runs are tops among N.L. hitters (St. Louis' Albert Pujols has 205). Dunn is fourth in RBIs in that span with 501, 95 fewer than Pujols' N.L.-leading total.

Yes, Dunn is a strikeout machine, but his .382 on-base percentage over the past five seasons ranks 11th in the N.L. during that span. And his .533 slugging percentage for the same period is the 12th-best mark in the league.

Dunn benefited from playing most of his home games at GABP, but not to an extraordinary degree. Over the past five seasons, Dunn ranks second in the N.L. in homers hit on the road (93), seventh in RBIs on the road (240) and 17th in slugging percentage on the road (.507).

Dunn isn't the greatest fielder but he could transition his way into a 1st baseman or DH in the AL while playing in the outfield sparingly. When teams are fighting over guys like Milton Bradley and Juan Rivera it really makes me wonder why so many organizations are looking past the big guy. Your thoughts?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Has Xavier outgrown A-10?

Click Here

Stupid Paul Daugherty must read because he stole some points from my prior article that I wrote about this subject matter last week.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Two local coaches earn milestones

Congratulations to Villa Madonna girls basketball coach Don Shields who picked up his 300th career win last night vs. Ludlow. In addition to his coaching gig, Shields has been a teacher at VMA for many years.

Since taking over at Villa Madonna in the 1989-90 season, Shields has a 300-231 record and 14 consecutive winning seasons.

Also, a shout out to one of the fugliest coaches of all-time, Charlie Coles, who became the winningest coach in Miami Redhawk history with his 217th victory. Coles has an overall career record of 309-245 in his 19th season as a head coach.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Xavier adds Wake Forest to its schedule for next two years

Local 12 reported today that Xavier has added #1 Wake Forest to its schedule over the next two years. This news comes following the announcement of Xavier playing in the Old Spice Classic, a field that includes Marquette, Baylor, Alabama, Michigan, Florida State, Creighton, and Iona.

Monday, January 19, 2009

"Prosser's Boys" are the New #1

If you're unfamilar with Wake Forest here is a rundown of their top 5:

Roster/Stats (per game)
Jeff Teague G 21.4 4.0 4.1 Sophmore
James Johnson F 13.4 8.0 2.2 Sophmore
Al-Farouq Aminu F 12.8 8.8 2.1 Freshman
Chas McFarland C 10.5 7.1 0.8 Junior
L.D. Williams G 9.0 2.8 1.3 Junior

Stat of the Day

Jerome Simpson (2nd Round, 46th overall pick)

2008 Regular season - 1 catch, 2 yards. Although, Simpson was only active for 6 games.

Desean Jackson (2nd Round, 49th overall pick)

2008 Regular Season - 62 catches, 912 yards, 2 TD's. Also, had a kick return and rushing TD.

2008 Postseason stats - 11 catches, 207 yards, 1 TD.

Where Are they Now? Kevin Pittsnogle

Who doesn't remember the 6-11 tatted up beast from West Virginia who helped the Mountaineers and their magical run in 2005? Pittsnogle had such a following and such allure that the NY Times decided to send a reporter after him to catch up with what he has been doing these days. That reported did not expect to get Pittsnogled on his way to West Virginia. Check it out here.

Basically Pittsnogle is doing what everyone thought he would be doing.

"Now, at 24, he is a middle school teacher in his hometown. He is also an unpaid assistant coach for a high school basketball team. He bowls in leagues three nights a week and occasionally plays bingo at Big Bucks Bingo. His wife, Heather, is a bank teller. They have two children and live in a double-wide trailer, and together they wonder how much appetite they have for uprooting their lives again so Pittsnogle can have one more chance at a basketball career."

No real suprise here, Kevin is just living the West Virginian dream.

Early Super Bowl Predictions

Well the Super Bowl is set we have the Pittsburgh Steelers out of the AFC against the Arizona Cardinals out of the NFC. I don't think that anyone in the early season would have predicted that Arizona would have made it this far. Steelers are an early 6.5 point favorite over the Cardinals, a number which will surely fluctuate throughout the season. Also take into consideration the fact that Arizona has been the underdog in each one of their playoff contests, I don't think the Cardinals have a problem playing against the world. Of course my heart wants Arizona to win this game, and I think my heart is starting to convince my head. Here are some tidbits regarding the big game.
- Cardinals Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt was the offensive coordinator of the Steelers and overlooked for the position of Head Coach when it was given to Mike Tomlin. The one thing to keep an eye on here is Dick Lebeau. Lebeau was the coordinator when Whisenhunt was in Pittsburgh and may still have a similar scheme package that the Cardinals can prepare for.
- The Arizona Cardinals are currently ranked 3rd in the NFL in total offense they are in the top 5 in points, yards, and passing yards per game. PIttsburgh on the flip side ranks 20th in the league in points, 22nd in total yards, 17th in pass yards, and 23rd in rushing yards. But their defense ranks 1st in points allowed, 1st in yards, 1st in passing yards, and 2nd in rushing yards. My question here is, if the defense wavers at all to Arizona's offensive attack, does Big Ben and the Steelers have enough weapons to counter their attack?

In the end, the old addage is Defense wins Championships, and as much as I have tried to convince myself that the Cardinals may have a chance to out match the Steelers. I have to go with that physically dominating defense of Pittsburgh to take the title beating Arizona 24-17.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Akili Smith 2?

Mark Sanchez, a Junior QB from USC declared for the draft today. Sanchez reminds me of another junior, who also started every game at QB for one full-season in the PAC-10 and had success, his name is Akili Smith. Smith was picked at the #3 slot in the draft by the Bengals, weird because people are already projecting Sanchez to be picked in the #3 slot by the Chiefs. Lets compare their numbers:

Mark Sanchez:
241 of 366 (68%) for 3,207 yards, 34 TD's and 10 INT's.

Akili Smith
215 of 371 (58%) for 3,763 yards, 32 TD's and 8 INT's.

Lets hope that his college career doesn't resemble Smith's.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hazelton to UC

UC football is at it again. Today, UC landed one of the most highly touted transfers in the country when Vidal Hazelton transferred from USC. Hazelton was the #1 WR and #7 ranked player when he chose USC out of high school in 2006. Hazelton had seen several nagging injuries over the last few seasons, causing him to slide down the USC depth chart and not allowing him to see his true potential. For these reasons, he has decided to transfer to UC. He will be eligible for the 2010 season, unless he receives an unlikely hardship waiver due to the poor health of his father. Nonetheless, a HUGE get for UC football

Cats and Vol's Trash Talking Last Night

From Kentucky Sports Radio Blog:
When prized recruit Bobby Maze picked Tennessee this summer as his college choice, he said, “Tennessee is a Ferrari, Kentucky is a Range Rover.” That obviously stuck with the players, because Patrick Patterson’s Facebook status after the game said this:

“Jodie Meeks is like a Ferrari, Bobby Maze is like a Honda…. U do the math.”

It is being passed around that as Jodie went to the line late in the game, he made his first free throw and looked at Bobby Maze and said, “Thats fifty”.

“Even in the last minute of the game, they were still talking trash,” Patterson said. “When somebody scores 50 in your gym, I wouldn’t have been talking. My mouth would have been shut.”

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Jodie Meeks taps into the record books.... twice!

I was just the witness of the best individual performance I've ever seen in college basketball. Jodie Meeks had a record-setting performance tonight putting up ridiculous numbers and in the process breaking records for most points scored by an individual and most triples in a game by a UK player. Meeks put up 54 points on 15 of 22 shooting, 10 of his 15 field goals coming from behind the arc. Meeks broke a record that was previously held by Dan Issel (pictured above) who scored 53 points in the 1970 basketball season. Meeks also broke the record for most triples in a game which was held by Tony Delk who hit nine 3's in one game.

What a performance! It's not like Meeks pulled a Stephen Curry and shot 40 shots to score this many points, he was 68% from the field and 66% from behind the arc, not to mention going 14 of 14 from the free-throw line.

Meeks has now gone for over 30 points in five games this year and is now averaging 26 points per game. His numbers are crazy considering he averaged 9 points per game his first two seasons at UK. Instead of game-planning for Patrick Patterson teams will now be looking to shut down Meeks.

Not taking away from Meeks' performance but Tennessee has allowed six individuals to have their best game of the year against them. Don't you think Bruce Pearl should've face-guarded Meeks in the second half after putting up 26 in the first? Wow!

Benefits of being a powerhouse in a Mid-Major Conference

Do you remember when conferences such as the Atlantic 10 and Conference USA used to produce several quality basketball teams year in and year out? Now both these conferences usually have one dominant team and is lucky to even get two teams from their respective conference in the big dance.

Days are long past when you see players like Marcus Camby, Lamar Odom, the tandem of Jameer Nelson and Delonte West in the A-10. C-USA took a huge hit with the departure of Marquette, Louisville and Cincinnati to the Big East. Two teams, Xavier and Memphis, have stood strong through the years and in the past couple years have dominated all "competitors" from their conference.

These two teams and others like Gonzaga have managed to bring in the big name recruits while still playing in mid-major conferences. Knowing that their conferences don't stack up to the Big East's of the world teams like Xavier, Memphis and Gonzaga will create hard non-conference schedules in order to show the voters they're worthy of being a Top 25 team. All these teams need to do is beat two or three quality teams during this time and they'll more than likely be in the tourney.

For instance, Xavier was 11-2 going into A-10 play and will probably end up winning the conference by a landslide, the same can be said for Gonzaga and Memphis. All of these teams will be shooting for close to 25 wins and a nice seed come tournament time, but the question is will they be tested by anyone before playing top-notch teams in March?
Past records show that playing in a weak conference hasn't hurt these three teams come tournament time. Memphis is coming off a year where they were playing for the national title, Xavier has two Elite 8 appearances in the past five years and Gonzaga is a team that you consistently see in the Sweet 16.

This brings me to the following question, is it better to be a top-notch team in a weak mid-major conference or are you better suited being a middle of the road team in a big name conference? From the voters perspective, it seems being from a small conference doesn't matter when it comes to polling for the top 25 as Gonzaga was a preseason Top 10 team and all three of the teams I've mentioned have been in the top 25 throughout the year.

If Memphis was in the Big East would they be a team that is on the bubble come tournament time? If Cincinnati was still in the Conference USA would they be fighting for a conference championship instead of fighting to be in the Big East tournament? Could teams like Xavier and Gonzaga compete in these tough conferences, probably….. but how would being in these big conferences affect their record, ranking and seeding come tournament time?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Henderson and Rice Elected to the Hall of Fame

Henderson fell one vote short from a unamimous vote into Cooperstown where Jim Rice made it on his final year on the ballot. Both men are very deserving of this honor. It is a little strange when we are getting to players who I distinctly remember watching play throughout most of their careers and Henderson was one of those guys that I took for granted when I watched him. In retrospect Henderson had amazing baseball talents but just made the game, and stealing bases, look so incredibly easy. Congratulations to both men, neither of them have the stats of Pete Rose but still very deserving of this honor!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Student Creates Alcohol Flavored Popcorn

College student Cary Silverman has developed "Pub Corn", an alcohol flavored popcorn.

The popcorn doesn't have any alcohol content, but comes in flavors such as beer, pina colada and Irish cream.

The snack is available for purchase online.

This Years Super Bowl

I stand correct. Last night I stated that the Super Bowl this year would be played at the University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals. I thought it would be interesting to see the Arizona Cardinals play a home game in the event that they make the Super Bowl. Wishful thinking I guess, because I was wrong. Last year, the Super Bowl was played in Glendale, Arizona. This year, it will be played in Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Pacman Jones... For Your Viewing Entertainment

Adam "PacMan" Jones on going to the "scrip" club... for your viewing entertainment.
Sorry, I Couldnt get the video to loud so you can view it here.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Beechwood Tigers Beat Covington Catholic, Improve Record to 9-2

Covington Catholic came within three points of the lead with a minute to play, but Beechwood was able to hang on for the 55-50 win behind its free throw shooting.

The Tigers, ranked No. 8 in the Enquirer Northern Kentucky coaches' poll, made 15 free throws in the fourth quarter, including four by Brian Romes. A senior guard, Romes finished 11-of-15 from the free throw line and had 19 points.

Senior guard Trey Beuttel scored 16 points, including three 3-pointers, to lead Beechwood (9-2) over CovCath (3-10) for the first time in nearly 20 years.

Colonels senior forward Luke Maile led all scorers with 20 points.

This team will more than likely go undefeated in the conference and win 20 games or more this season. The win over CCH was huge as it's a must needed win in their district which is made up of CCH, Beechwood, Holmes and Holy Cross (ouch!). Beechwood has been blocked from the regional round ever since they joined the 35th district in 2005. The game against Holy Cross on Feb. 4th will be a big one for the Tigers. This is a solid team that is starting to earn some respect in Northern Kentucky Hoops.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Missed Opportunity?

Brad Penny signed a one-year contract worth $5 million on Friday. Penny's salary is drastically low because of his poor performance last year (6-9, 6.27 era). If the Reds could've received Penny for $5 million why wouldn't they make a run at him? I think he took a pay-cut to play for a good team but if this isn't true then I don't know why the Reds wouldn't make the 6'4 hard-thrower an offer. He was injured and not 100% when he pitched last year. When you look at his numbers from 2006 and 2007 they're pretty good (2006: 16-9, 4.33 era, 2007: 16-4, 3.03 era). If you don't recall Penny was actually a Cy Young candidate when healthy in 2007.

Would you pay $5 million a year for him? Imagine if Penny started off the year with a great record and era, he could be used as trade bait then to contenders at a low cost and high return to the Redlegs.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I'm pretty sure people don't recognize Rachel Lantry for her basketball skills

Remember this young lady. She was a star athlete at Holy Cross HS and was nominated for Larosa's player of the year. Now she plays for the Norse and is being recognized for her game.... I mean looks. These pictures are courtesy of Mo Egger, don't think Nancy Winstel will be to fond of some of these.

OSU's Chris "Beanie" Wells

Columbus- Star Ohio State running back Chris "Beanie" Wells has decided to turn pro this year. Not a huge suprise but a big hit to the Buckeyes. Beanie will be a big time pro in my opinion. But Big 10 backs haven't fared too well.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Anybody want Knowshon Moreno?

Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno, who led the SEC in rushing this season, announced Wednesday afternoon that he will enter April's NFL draft.

If we could re-sign Benson I could see this as being a nice one-two punch. Moreno would be more of the speed guy and Benson the bruiser. Look at teams nowadays in the NFL and how they're succeeding with the two RB system (i.e. Panthers, Ravens, Dolphins, Giants). Yes we have other needs to fill and yes Moreno may not be there when are pick comes... but what if?

My Own Bowl Update

* Wow, what a 45-13 thumping Tulsa put on Ball State last night. What has happened to the Ball State Cardinals in the last 3 games? They went from looking like one of the best teams in college football to one of the bottom feeders in the MAC.

* OSU lost to a good Texas team two nights ago. Good fight in the Buckeyes, but still a loss. That makes the Big Ten 1-6 in this bowl season (Ouch!) It also makes the Buckeyes 0-3 in their last 3 BCS games and 0-5 against the top teams in the country the past few seasons (soon to be 0-6 with an early season matchup against USC looming ahead next year). Funny to hear OSU callers slamming Utah on the radio this morning about how they would have been middle of the pack in the Big Ten..... gotta love Buckeye and Big Ten homers.

* Great Great games the last few nights between Alabama vs. Utah and OSU vs Texas.... Imagine if those games actually meant something and the winner went on while the loser went home.

* Awesome article by Michael Wilbon about how meaningless the end of the season has become in college football. I dont often agree with Wilbon on anything, but this is way way on track. With such an awesome regular season in college football wouldnt it be great if the postseason actually meant something. His article can be read here.

* Im sick and tired of hearing about a +1 playoff system. The +1 would not work, especially with the state of the current season. I love it how after the USC game, the media screamed that USC was perfect for a +1. Funny how they said the same thing about Utah. Then again about Texas. Im sorry but a +1 doesnt work when their are 2 or more worthy things. This season screams nothing but playoff.

Reds reach deal with Hairston

Free agent Jerry Hairston Jr. is returning to the Cincinnati Reds, according to

The Web site reported late Tuesday, Jan. 6, that Hairston and the club had agreed to terms on a one-year contract worth a guaranteed $2 million. It's an incentive-laden deal that could be worth $4 million.

An announcement is expected today. The Royals and Cardinals also were competing to sign Hairston.

It appears that Cincinnati plans to make the versatile Hairston its starting shortstop because Alex Gonzalez won't be ready, the Web site reported.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Bengals staff to coach in Senior Bowl

Cincinnati's Marvin Lewis will coach the North squad in his second stint on the sidelines for the all-star game for top senior NFL prospects.

The game is scheduled for Jan. 24 at Mobile's Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

The Bengals selected three Senior Bowl participants in the 2004 draft after working the game.

Let's look at who the Bengals picked in the 2004 draft (players in bold played in the senior bowl):

1 Chris Perry RB Michigan 26
2a Keiwan Ratliff CB Florida 49
2b Madieu Williams S Maryland 56

3a Caleb Miller LB Arkansas 80
3b Landon Johnson LB Purdue 96
4a Matthias Askew DT Michigan St. 114
4b Robert Geathers DE Georgia 117
4c Stacy Andrews T Mississippi 123
6 Greg Brooks CB Southern Mississippi 183

Nice Beer Pong Article

The Indystar wrote an article on the recent World Series of Beer Pong that took place over the weekend in Las Vegas. This was the fourth annual world beer pong tournament. Solid beer pong article and even mentions beer pong as gaining a huge wave of international notoriety as well as the need to make beer pong a sport. Can you imagine that? Beer pong a sport? Now we are talking.

You can view the beer pong article here.

One More Down

In Reds news, one more major free agent right handed power hitting outfielder went off the market today. Pat Burrell signed a 2 year, 16 million dollar contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays today. The Reds still need a power hitting outfielder and the field of free agent players continues to shrink. The Reds continually said that the price tag for Pat Burrell was too high, however, I dont think 8 million per year is that bad of a price. Especially considering the price tag for power hitting outfielders and the fact that J. Dye would have been over 11 million.

Utah Football

We were all shocked that Utah laid the hurting to Alabama in thier bowl game. I was from the school that was arguing that Alabama should be playing for the title rather than Florida. But with the way this has played out and after reading this article, I think Utah really should have been playing for a title. All the more reason for a playoff system.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Things Noticed: Big Ten Bowl Record

BIG TEN: 1-5 (.167)

Iowa (won), Michigan State (lost), Minnesota (lost), Northwestern (lost), Penn State (lost), Wisconsin (lost)

Remaining: Ohio State (vs. Texas, Fiesta Bowl, Monday)

This is how one the the "top" football conferences in college football represents themselves? OSU fans, please don't ever try to tell the world that you play in the best conference in college football or even make a comparison with the SEC.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Peyton Manning named NFL MVP

Indianapolis Colts Quarterback Peyton Manning was named the NFL's MVP not really a huge suprise but I am willing to make an argument for Chad Pennington who I feel could have just as easily been named the MVP.
First, most would argue that the MVP should be the "most valuable player" of the team. It is obvious the Manning was a huge part in the Colt's late season push to make the playoffs, however, the Colts were 13-3 last season under Manning and 12-4 this season with him. The Dolphins were 1-15 and after Pennington took the helm they improved to 11-5. The numbers are very close with a slight advantage to Manning, but I think as far as value to the team, Pennington wins.

Chad Pennington
Yards- 3653
Comp%- 67.4
TD- 19
INT- 7
RAT- 97.4

Peyton Manning
Yards- 4002
Comp%- 66.8
TD- 27
INT- 12
RAT- 95.0

Salute to Champions

In case you forgot here is a list of some of the Champions of 2008

MLB- Philadelphia Phillies
NFL- New York Giants
NHL- Detroit Red Wings
NBA- Boston Celtics
MLS- Columbus Crew
NCAA BB- Kansas JayHawks

Fantasy Football Awards

I read the article from ESPN and some of their awards and decided to do some of my own. I don't have witty names for each category but just an analysis of the year of fantasy football leaders.

Fantasy Football MVP- Drew Brees
I understand that most would choose a RB because of the inflated scores they typically pull but Brees put up monster numbers this year with 5069 yards and 34 TD's. Depending on your leagues scoring structure Brees was more than likely at the top of scoring.

Draft Day Genius Pickup of the Year- Michael Turner
Turner was an animal this year in Atlanta with a team that no one thought would even make a splash and they are now in the playoffs thanks to Turner. Turner racked up 17 touchdowns this season on 1699 yards rushing. Turner had some huge games and some not so big games early but was consistently over 10 points with five games over 25 points this season.

It's about time Player of the Year- DeAngelo Williams
Fantasy owners have been discussing Williams since he came into the league and after a very slow start, first four games in single digits, Williams racked up huge points in the second half of the season with four games over 30 points.

WR of the Year- Larry Fitzgerald
Arguments can be made for Andre Johnson but Fitzgerald had almost as many receptions as Johnson with 96, racked up 1431 yards receiving, and hauled in 12 TD's on the season. Fitzgerald was one of the most consistent players this year in Fantasy with his lowest effort of the year being 5 points. Andre Johnson was held under the 5 point mark three times.

TE of the Year- Tony Gonzalez
One of the only bright spots of the season for Kansas City, Gonzalzes thrived once they brought out Tyler Thigpen and proved that he has found the fountain of youth. Gonzalez had just as many receptions as Larry Fitzgerald and had 1058 yards with 10 TD's. By far the best TE option this year.

Rookie of the Year- Matt Forte
Okay I am sure that I will get some criticism for this but hear me out. Chris Johnson had an phenomenal year for the Titans with 1228 yards, 9 td's. Forte managed to pick up 1238 yards with 8td's but where I give Forte the advantage is in the recieving game. Forte had 63 receptions, 477 yards and 4 td's, Johnson only had 43 for 260 and 1 TD. For fantasy football Forte is the Rookie of the Year.

Comeback Player of the Year- Clinton Portis
Portis has been okay fantasy wise since he came to Washington but his year Portis gave fantasy owners a nice early season boost, although his numbers dropped late in the season, Portis who had dropped a little from prominance proved to be a solid RB option for most of the season.

Defense Special Teams of the Year- Baltimore Ravens
Most said they were getting old but the Ravens managed 6 defensive TD's, 26 ints, 3 safety's, and only gave up 244 points. They put up over 20 points on multiple occasions and always found a way to get your team something this year.

Fantasy Dissapointment of the Year- Tom Brady
This one goes without saying, I chose Brady for multiple reasons. Not only for those who drafted Brady in the first round but also for those who drafted Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Ben Watson, etc. Cassell came around late when it mattered but their stock was absolutely depleted after they lost Brady.

Bearcats Squeezed by VT in the Orange Bowl

Viewers from around the country watched the Orange Bowl last night thinking that the Bearcats were just happy to be there. Around here we know how good the Cat's can be, but unfortunately we have also seen how poorly they can play (see UConn tape.) Tony Pike struggled last night forcing some bad passes in spots and just making some poor decisions. Pike threw for 239 with an early TD but managed 4 interceptions on the evening. I don't think all of that is Pike's fault however, the Bearcats abandonded the run and left it back in Nippert Stadium. Cincinnati only managed 71 rushing yards and 14 first downs, the Hokies racked up 258 yards rushing and 23 first downs. Consequently they controled the clock having the ball 39 minutes compared to UC's 20.
I think as long as Brian Kelly sticks around the Bearcats can have a chance to get back to a BCS bowl, but this was a great opportunity for their program and its a shame they weren't able to get it done.

Fantasy World: Awards Season

Click Here

ESPN recently handed out its awards for the 2008 fantasy football season. These awards are incredible, especially when you have awards named as, "The Kelly Kapowski Award for Suddenly Compelling Prospect."

Not to mention they have an award given out named after my touchdown celebration dance:
The "He Went to Jared" Award for Most Annoying Performance

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Did You Know?

The Bengals defense finished the season ranked #12 overall. This defense was under the first season for defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. It is by far the best finish in the Marvin Lewis era. Now, if we could only force turnovers and get a pash rush just think of where we would stand....well, that and rejuvinate an offense.