NFL PLAYS OF THE DAY 11-30
After going 4-2 on Turkey Day my tally is 19-19 on the year.
Take the Colts – 9.5 at home vs the Redskins
Take the Rams-6.5 at home vs the Raiders
Take the Steelers -4 at home vs the Saints
Take the Cardinals – 1.5 at the Falcons
Take the Bengals -4 at the Buccaneers
Take the Texans -7 at home vs the Titans
Take the over in the Browns/Bills game 42
NCAA BLOG 11-30
Another Saturday another wild day.
TCU and Baylor are both big winners. With the loss by Mississippi State that has opened up the 4th spot in the playoffs. Depending on who you ask TCU or Baylor or Ohio State is the 4th team. It is now clear that one of these teams will be in unless they all lose next week. TCU plays the easier team which in that aspect helps them in the eyes of who has them ranked 4th. Ohio State and Baylor both play ranked teams but victories will give them style points. I have Baylor ranked 4th on my list although TCU should have won that game earlier in the season.
I will say Florida State only because of what Georgia Tech did winning at Georgia. While the Seminoles who are undefeated don’t need style points if they beat the Yellow Jackets next week but a loss to them may give them some much needed style points. Don’t forget a lot of the top 10 are playing games against good teams and depending on the results we may need to take out our pens and write down all the pros and cons. Now some me included feel that a FSU loss drops them out of the top 4 forever. But if others lose too what happens then.
The biggest winner is Devon Gardner. He earned more fans around the country and it had nothing to do with his play on the field. In a rivalry game which is one of the most nastiest in all of sports Gardner showed a tremendous display of sportsmanship that we don’t normally see. Ohio State QB EJ Barrett badly hurt his leg and would eventually be carted off with a broken leg was laying on the turf in obvious discomfort. Gardner came onto the field and kneeled down beside him and consoled him. It’s one thing for an opposing player who is already on the field to console a injured player but what Gardner did was truly a great show of compassion. Kudos to you Devon. We need to see more of this in the world today.
Ohio State even though they won they are still losers from yesterday. Once Barrett went down everything changed. We don’t know how this kid Cardale Jones will play and let’s say he plays poorly but OSU wins next week vs Wisconsin does the committee bring the Buckeyes to the dance? That is the million dollar question. This might not be fair to OSU but the Big 12 does not care about that. I would have made OSU my 4th team with a win vs Wisconsin next week. Now I am not so sure. Do we want a kid who is so green playing in the playoffs? Urban Meyer can coach him up all he wants the truth is he will only have 1 game and 1 quarter of experience.
Typical Georgia. They were ranked 9th. With a win they would have jumped up to 7. Then sit back and hope for upsets. Were they realistically going to get to the playoffs. No. But they took themselves out of the conversation with a loss yesterday to Georgia Tech. As I had stated yesterday what Georgia team would we see and did that Missouri win on Friday take out some of their steam.
The selection committee. This is a tough enough job to do but do you think everyone on that committee was rooting for a Michigan win once Barrett went down with the injury? I do. A loss by OSU would have eliminated them. Now they have to weigh this injury and decide if OSU with a win next week still should go to the playoffs. I don’t know how you do that. if the committee is truly dedicated to giving America the 4 best teams does an OSU team on their 3rd string QB worthy. Their hands are already filled with the Big 12 debate with TCU & Baylor. However the SEC picture cleared up a lot yesterday with losses by Miss State and Georgia.
Mississippi State is a huge loser too. They were ranked 4th and by a lot of accounts would have eventually lost that spot to either Ohio State or a BIG 12 team. Barrett’s injury changed things for OSU who face a tough Badger team next week. Baylor plays Kansas State next week and that is no sure win either. Plus who knows what other upsets occur next week. Like Georgia they have taken themselves completely out of the conversation.
The biggest loser of them all is the SEC. The mighty and vaunted SEC now only has one team left in the playoff chase. Miss State’s loss took care of that. Plus the ACC won 4 rivalry games against their SEC opponents yesterday. I know if you took the top 4 SEC teams and played them against the rest of the country you could see a SEC sweep. We all knew these teams would knock each other off. But in my opinion if Alabama loses to Missouri next week they are not going to the playoffs. Especially if the rest of the top 7 win their games. The first ever college playoffs without an SEC team. Yes it could happen. I wrote an article on this site about this in October and some probably laughed at me. We are one Mizzou win away from that becoming a reality. Assuming no other upsets blow this completely up.
SPORTS BLOG 11-29
Today we have a mixture of sports news to talk about.
Let’s start with the SEC. Arkansas blew a lead late and could not come back to win at Missouri yesterday losing 21-14. This means MIZZOU will be playing for the SEC Championship next week in Atlanta. Is there any winners here? Well me I guess. Because my article posted weeks ago painted a picture of how the SEC gets shutout of the playoffs. For this to happen 3 things need to happen. Ole Miss wins at home today against Mississippi State. I don’t think the Rebels win today but this is a rivalry game and Ole Miss can at least get some satisfaction by derailing Miss St and knocking them out of the playoffs. Georgia tech beats Georgia between the hedges. Georgia lost already this weekend when the Razorbacks lost to Mizzou eliminating the bulldogs from the SEC title chase. Now conceivably Georgia with another win can climb the rankings with a few more losses by several teams some of which play losable games. What is their mindset right now? We’ll see today. And Missouri shocks Alabama in the SEC Title game after the Tide win the Iron Bowl today against Auburn. So every SEC team will have 2 losses including the champion Missouri Tigers. So once again does the committee take a 2 loss SEC team who either lost their last game played or Mizzou who is so far down the rankings (17)they can never crack the top 4. I mean they beat Arkansas who was favored in the game and they are not ranked. I can’t wait to see how this plays out.
I think Oregon was a loser yesterday. The one team that has their number is staring them right in the face for the PAC 12 Title. Arizona has beat them twice in a row. The Ducks first must win today in Corvallis which will not be easy. They should win but are the Wildcats in their heads and does this show today against the Beavers.
Two NFL teams who are big losers are the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys. Both got blown out at home to division rivals. Let’s start with the Cowgirls who got a huge reality break. Tony Romo was healthy. Dallas was coming off a very big win at NY 4 days earlier. Their vaunted offensive line was man handled and couldn’t run the ball effectively. Romo could not convert third downs and the frustration showed on the sidelines. Defensively we saw what we expected all long from this over rated defense. The Giants moved the ball 4 days earlier and the Eagles could have scored 50 but Chip Kelly chose not to keep the pace up and settled for methodically bleeding the clock in the second half. No doubt not wanting to show all his tricks before the second meeting in 2 weeks. Plus why embarrass the Cowgirls before they play again in 2 weeks. The Dallas fans are very quiet but the Eagle Fan is very cocky and arrogant right now.
As for the 49ers it appears more and more that the Jim Harbaugh era will come to an end. To me that is a mistake. The Seahawks got an early lead and their defense put on a clinic that reminded us that they are the defending champs. Right now the road does not go through Seattle which is an issue but they have completely gotten back on track. The Niners are in danger of not making the playoffs. One good thing for them is that the NFC right now only has 4 teams that can make the wild card games. But the bigger issue is has Colin Kaepernick regressed? I have never been in favor of a running Quarterback. I think defensive players are too big, too fast and too strong for quarterbacks to keep taking hits every game. It’s one thing to be Aaron Rodgers who runs when he needs to and is mobile enough to move around and out of the pocket. But when your mentality and what got you here is to take off and run instead of taking the hit in the pocket to complete a pass that won’t work long term in the NFL. Russell WIlson, RG3, Cam Newton and Kaepernick all have regressed from their rookie season. Sure they have their moments but that style does not play well in the NFL long term. One thing for sure is that the Niners must get their QB and offense turned around other wise they aren’t going anywhere this year.
Ray Rice won his appeal and has been reinstated and can be signed by any team in the NFL right now. I am not going to talk about what he did or did the punishment fit the crime or who was right or wrong because I am tired of it. Clearly we know the NFL and specifically Roger Goodell must work with the NFLPA to get a process in place that works for everyone.
But this is significant because Rice can be a difference maker if a team in contention signs him. I mean is Rice going to sign with a last place team? He probably will sign a contract with a team for the rest of the season and then be a free agent in the off season. He is a player that can make an impact down the stretch and in the playoffs. The Colts recently lost Ahmed Bradshaw. The Broncos have injury problems with their backs. The Saints miss Sproles and can Rice do some of what he did? And more importantly does any NFL team sign him and no doubt have to hear a lot of backlash form the various groups and people who think he should never be allowed to play again? My guess is that he does get signed.
Billy Beane is at it again. No one is better than getting more for a player at his peak than Beane. The A’s traded Josh Donaldson to the Blue Jays for Brett Lawrie and 3 minor leaguers. Does anyone doubt that the minor leaguers Beane got will be good players while Lawrie becomes a mainstay for a few years. Franklin Barreto is a shortstop ranked 5th on the Blue Jays top 10 list according to Baseball America. Kendall Graverman and Sean Nolin are both nearly ready Major League starting pitchers. So Beane goes back to his roots stock piling pitchers. My hunch is that he has other deals up his sleeve maybe trading Jeff Samardzija. Aside from the Yeonis Cespedes/Jon Lester trade does anyone really doubt the genius of Billy Beane.
As for the Blue Jays they added a big power bat to go with Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. Jose Reyes is still productive and Russell Martin was added too. There is a hole in the outfield where Melky Cabrera patrolled last year that has to be filled. With the emergence of Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman it appears the Jays are going for it with a suddenly wide open American League.
One thing for sure is the MLB hot stove is cooking and there promises more to come.
LOGO OF THE DAY 11-29
Today’s logo comes to us from the Atlantic League of the Independent league. They are the Long Island Ducks.
THROWBACK OF THE DAY 11-29
We have know the traditional logo and uniforms of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The three stars in different colors representing the three rivers surrounding Pittsburgh. But Pittsburgh is also known as the Steel city as you will see in one of these logos. The uniforms worn once in a while is also below.
MASCOT OF THE DAY 11-29
Today’s mascot of the day is Paydirt Pete.
Probably the first so-called mascot was a student dressed as a prospector leading a burro named Clyde. Some years after Clyde began making appearances at football games, then-president Dr. Joseph Ray became disenchanted with the animal’s appearance. In a letter to the dean of students, Dr. Ray demanded that something be done about that “sorry-looking, pot-bellied creature, not fit to represent the Miners.” Clyde was surveyed out in 1966 and replaced by Henry, another burro.
The name Paydirt Pete originated from a 1974 contest to give a name to the mascot. The name Paydirt Pete was selected from over 500 entries. The first animated Paydirt Pete was given a face in 1974. It was recreated in 1980. This was a lovable little ol’ Miner which probably led to his being dubbed “Sweet Pito.” At any rate, ol’ Sweet Pito was not a very popular mascot and, like Clyde, he made a quick exit in order for the present Paydirt Pete to arrive on the scene.
This Paydirt Pete’s meaner looking, has a major-league swagger and has become something of a goodwill ambassador for the school, as well as appearing at UTEP sporting events. This Pete stuck until the late 1990s and was built and designed by El Pasoan Richard Glass. Sometime after Pete made his appearance, he decided to kick the smoking habit and the cigar, which jutted to one side of his mouth, was removed. The next rendition of Paydirt Pete was introduced in the fall of 1999, along with a brand-new UTEP athletic department logo, when again complaints surfaced similar to those against “Sweet Pete”. In the spring of 2005, the current rendition of Paydirt Pete was unveiled at a home basketball game.
PETE ROSE–Fearless on the baseball field.
NCAA PLAYS OF THE DAY 11-29
After going 3-2 with my Turkey Day picks to even me out at 20-20-1 for the year here are my picks for today. I have 10 of them.
Take Ohio State -20.5 at home vs Michigan. The Brady Hoke era comes to an end.
Take West Virginia -13 at Iowa State.
Take Maryland -8.5 at home vs Rutgers. My weekly anti Rutgers pick.
Take Miss St -2.5 at Ole Miss. Ole Miss has fizzled down the stretch.
Take Duke -19 at home vs Wake Forest
Take Miami -9.5 at home vs Pittsburgh. The Canes finish up strong.
Take Auburn plus 8 at Alabama. Bama wins but Auburn keeps It close
Take Nevada -9.5 at UNLV
Take Oregon State plus 20 at home vs Oregon. UPSET Special here.