Saturday, December 29, 2007

Counting Down 2007: Year End Awards

Here's TSF's Year End Awards for 2007.

Team of the Year:
San Antonio Spurs
4 titles in 9 years, 3 in 5... can you say dynasty?

Player of the Year: Kobe Bryant
Completely dominated in his 2007 NBA season

Play of the Year: Boise St. lateral vs. Oklahoma

Play Call of the Year: Appalachian St.'s upset over Michigan

Quote of the Year: Mike Gundy explodes

Bonehead of the Year: Chris Jessie
Mack Brown's step son, Chris Jessie, for some reason when on the field when the ball was fumbled last night vs. Arizona St. and it looked like he was gonna pick up the ball, but jumped away at the last second. First of all, I don't know what the hell this guy was thinking? The play was still live and it appeared he was going to pick it up, he may have touched it, it was a close call. Texas ended up recovering the fumble, but because of Mr. Jessie it gave the ball back to ASU and they scored a TD on the next play.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Counting down 2007: A year of Scandal

Here are my top 7 sports scandals in 2007 counted down from 7 to 1.

7. Marion Jones' Fall from Grace
In October, seven years after winning a record five Olympic track and field medals at the Sydney Games, and after years of passionately denying that she had ever taken performance-enhancing drugs, Marion Jones pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about her use of steroids. The spectacular fall from grace by the woman who was the golden girl of the Sydney Olympics culminated in the return of the five medals she won at those Games. Jones will be sentenced in Jan. 11.

6. Sean Taylor Murdered in His Home
Just as 2007 began with the grim news of an NFL player cut down in his prime (Darrent Williams), so did the year end. In early December, football mourned the loss of Washington Redskins standout safety Sean Taylor, who was shot and killed in his Miami home by armed intruders whose apparent motive was robbery. Taylor, the father of a baby girl, was only 24. This came as a shock to the league and a team who was/is in the heat of the playoff hunt. Taylor was winning the probowl race at his position and just this week was announced as the winner of the starting spot. He left a family and a game, and he had so much left to give to both.

5. Barry Bonds Indicted
Barry Bonds became baseball's all-time home run king on Aug. 7, when he passed Hank Aaron by hitting career home run number 756. The record is considered tainted by myself along with many in the game who believe Bonds used steroids. On Nov. 16 the slugger was indicted on perjury and obstruction of justice charges for allegedly lying to a federal jury about his use of performance-enhancing drugs. Bonds pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Dec. 7 and remains the face of baseball's ongoing steroids investigation.

4. Mike Vick Goes Down for Dogfighting
In one of the ugliest episodes of a crime-ridden year for the NFL, Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was exposed for his role in a dogfighting operation. Vick pleaded guilty to federal felony dogfighting charges and started serving his sentence in November. Vick could also be tried in Virginia on state-level felony charges. His football career is definitely in jeopardy.

3. NBA Gambling Scandal
When NBA referee Tim Donaghy was exposed for betting on games and providing confidential information to others, league commissioner David Stern called the crisis the "worst situation" he'd experienced in basketball. Donaghy pleaded guilty in August to two felony charges. The whole situation was a well-publicized mess and gave sportsfans just another turnoff to the NBA.

2. Spygate
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was apparently breaking NFL rules by videotaping signals that New York Jets' coaches relayed to their players during a Sept. 9 showdown in the Meadowlands. The incident, dubbed "Spygate," led to the Patriots being stripped of a first-round draft pick and a $500,000 fine for Belichick. The Patriots are definately a dynasty, but is the team's reputation now tarnished? I say yes, but it depends on who you ask.

1. The Mitchell Report
Roger Clemens, Miguel Tejada,Andy Pettitte, and Eric Gagne, amongst many others, were named in the long-awaited Mitchell Report on Dec. 13, 2007. It was largely an All-Star roster linked to steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs that put a question mark, if not an asterisk, next to some of baseball's biggest players and moments. We have still yet to see or hear what reprecussions will come of the report. However, I personally feel it is a step in the right direction for upholding the integrity of the game.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Have a Very Merry Sports Flow Christmas!

All of us here on the Sports Flow team would like to wish all readers and passers-by a very merry Christmas from all of us. Enjoy your time with family and friends and tune in later in the week as we will continue to count down all our favorite and top teams, plays, games, and players of the year that was 2007.

Please come and stop by the NEW sports flow and sign up to talk sports at the community-based forum!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Top 5 Games of 2007

After doing some deep thinking, here's The Sports Flow's Top 5 game of 2007.

5. Ohio St. vs. Xavier- 2nd Round- NCAA Tournament
I specifically remember watching this game with some buddies and it was one hell of a game. It was back and forth, superstar playmaking game, with the the top players on each team stepping up big time. The best of the 2007 NCAA Tournament in my opinion and one of the best of 2007. It looked like Xavier was going to pull away late in the 2nd half, but Mike Conley Jr. and Ron Lewis had something else in mind...

Just ignore the first part, after about 20 seconds it will show the highlights.

4. Michigan vs. Appalachian St.
FCS Powerhouse Appalachian St. shocks the world with their upset over 5th ranked Michigan. This was a great Saturday in college football history and might be the biggest upset ever in college football.

3. Patriots vs. Colts- 2007 AFC Championship
Comeback for the Super Bowl champion Colts. Just a hard-fought, great all-around football game.

2. Oklahoma St. vs. Texas- College Basketball Game
One of the greatest game I have ever seen. 3 OT game, back and forth with clutch plays and shots. Sorry couldn't find any video highlights of this game. So here's an article from MSNBC Sports:

1. Boise St. vs. Oklahoma- 2007 Fiesta Bowl
Who would have thought otherwise? Undisputed number one game...

There you have it our Top 5 games of 2007. Thoughts? Did we miss any games?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Buy or Sell: NCAA ban/regulations on live blogging

It's been a while since I posted on an issue where I could let readers buy or sell. I'm bringing it back tonight.

I'm sure many of you remember back in June when University of Louisville reporter Brian Bennett was evicted from the press box in the fifth inning of Louisville's 20-2 victory for live blogging during the game. More recently the NCAA has adjusted their policy a bit this year to include regulations for live blogging all sports. In all their ridiculosity, here they are:

Fall Sports

Soccer: Five times per half; one at halftime
Field Hockey: Five times per half; one at halftime
Volleyball: Three per Competition; one in between Competitions
Football: Three per quarter; one at halftime
Cross Country: Ten per day/session
Men's Water Polo: Three per quarter; one at the halftime

Winter Sports
Ice Hockey: Three per period - one in between (includes overtime)
Basketball: Five times per half; one at halftime; two times per overtime period
Wrestling: Ten per session
Indoor Track and Field: Ten per day/session
Swimming and Diving: Ten per day/session
Bowling: Ten per day/session
Gymnastics: Ten per session

So besides being a little pissed about the NCAA inhibiting my passion for liveblogging bowling and water polo, I find these new restrictions meticulous,and pointless. I'm definitely selling the NCAA's regulations on liveblogging.

I understand that the NCAA is trying to protect the reserved rights of those that are paying to broadcast these events. Where is the line drawn here? Is the NCAA going to have officials coming around to notify me that I only have one post left for my Wrestling live blog until the session ends? Even with blogger you can blog from your cell phone which poses an interested facet to the problem also.

"It's a real question that we're being deprived our right to report within the first amendment from a public facility. Once a player hits a home run, that's a fact. It's on TV, everybody sees it. They (the NCAA) can't copyright that fact. The blog wasn't a simulcast or a recreation of the game. It was an analysis." - Jon Fleischaker, attorney for The Courier-Journal

So, what about fans in the stands mobile blogging with blackberries and cell phones? What about when I text my dad updates of UND hockey games from the Ralph Engelstad Arena? Where is the line drawn?

I understand the principle behind what the NCAA is trying to do. The NCAA claims ownership rights to any during-the-game information and that it can be distributed only through those outlets to which it has granted rights. They're trying to protect their assets. However, I think that the whole thing is insignificant and fruitless. What is the difference between constricting and inhibiting livebloggers at sporting events to those at home watching the game on ESPN? It's going to be virtually the same thing. And, regardless, how does the NCAA plan to enforce these regulations?

I definitely wouldn't put it past the NCAA to pick a fight with the media and the first amendment on this one because I, of course, can see first hand what happens when the NCAA wants to pick a fight. Also, maybe it's because I'm a blogger (though not a big live blogger), but I am going to sell the NCAA's new regulations on live blogging.

What are your feelings on the issue? Do you agree with me or disagree? Drop comments!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Simply put, Fred Taylor deserves to be in the Pro Bowl

Even though we just had our Pro Bowl Snubs post, I would like to specifically look at one of those snubs in Fred Taylor and break down his case as to why he should playing in Hawaii in February.

Is this 2007 or 1997? You would think it would be '97 with the way Fred Taylor is playing this season. Taylor has been very productive this season, especially the last 4 games.

Taylor has put up 1,091 yards rushing on 216 carries, with a 5.1 avg. His last 4 games have been phenomenal, 487 yards, 71 carries, 6.8 avg. Taylor also has the AFC's two longest TD runs of 80 and 76 yards.

Taylor is 6th in the league in rushing. Willie Parker has 104 more carries than Taylor but still only had 226 more yards. Joseph Addai has more carries and still less yards than Taylor. Taylor still had Maurice Jones-Drew on his team and Parker and Addai are by themselves.

Some can say what did Taylor do the first half of the season? But just look at Addai's last 6 games:

Last Six Games:
Taylor: 617 yards, 107 carries, 5.7 avg.
Addai: 315 yards, 102 carries, 3.0 avg.

Also, Taylor is 6th in the league in rushing, still has 35 less carries, and still has more yards rushing than Addai, and I would like to mention Maurice Jone-Drew once again.

Not to mention, Taylor is 31 and still putting up more productive numbers than the 24 year old Addai. Taylor deserves it more, over 10,000 yards in his career and no Pro Bowl? I think he'll never make a Pro Bowl and will be the first HOF to never make a Pro Bowl. Taylor's been there all year and is helping get this Jags team into the playoffs. Fred Taylor deserves to be in the Pro Bowl, simply put.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

2007 Pro Bowl Snub Hub

Back for it's second annual installment is my pro Bowl Snub hub. It's going to work much the same, however formatted differently. Rosters just came out and here's what they look like in case you missed it. Now, on to those who I felt deserved to go and weren't selected.


Sean Jones - CLE - Safety
Should get the spot over: Troy Polamalu
Should have been selected over Troy Polamalu. Polamalu hasn’t done much of anything this year due to injuries while Jones has quietly racked up 84 tackles (61 solo), 1 forced fumble, 10 passes defended, and 5 INTs. Probably overlooked due to the fact that he plays for the Browns (especially on defense), but he's quietly having a great year.

Fred Taylor - JAX - RB
Should get the spot over: Joseph Addai

Maybe Fred Taylor wasn't meant to ever go to the Pro Bowl or something. He has moved to 18th all-time in NFL history for rushing and he is the only one out of the top 43 on that list to never go to a pro bowl! That is astounding. While some will argue that he doesn’t deserve a roster spot because he only has four rushing touchdowns, Taylor’s 5.1 yards per rush average is tops in the AFC among starting running backs. Not only is his rush average higher than any other starter, he’s also doing all of this at the age of 31. If that isn’t impressive, I don’t know what is. Hopefully Taylor returns for at least one more season and gets the recognition he deserves. This reminds me a lot of the Westbrook snub from last season.

Nnamdi Asomugha - OAK - CB
Should get the spot over: Champ Bailey

So, the Raiders suck, but he’s been playing lights out for most of the year. Opposing quarterbacks don’t often throw his way. I can see where he could be overlooked here. However, I feel like he's deserving and Champ Bailey has been rather disappointing this year. Given the circumstances I think that Nnamdi deserves to go. He's exceeded expectations while Bailey hasn't quite measured up. Bailey has 3 INTs while Asomugha only has 1 INT, but their tackle totals (Bailey: 70 Asomugha: 32) gives you an idea of how teams have stayed away from Asomugha this season while targeting Bailey at times.

Kellen Winslow Jr. - CLE - TE
Should get the spot over: Tony Gonzalez
San Diego's Antonio Gates is a no-brainer at tight end in the AFC. Browns fans can blame Kansas City's Tony Gonzalez for keeping Kellen Winslow off the squad. Gonzalez has 82 receptions for 971 yards and five touchdowns. Winslow has 71 receptions for the same yardage and touchdown totals. That's pretty close. Winslow is playing for a potential playoff team. While I admire Gonzalez gutting it out on a team headed nowhere I feel like Winslow has meant more to his team. I don't have a huge problem with this one, like I do with others, I just would have liked to see Winslow go for the Browns.

Michael Boley - ATL - LB
Should get the spot over: Lance Briggs

107 tackles, 3 sacks… but he plays for the Falcons so I understand how he was overlooked. When Lance Briggs makes it over him with fewer tackles, sacks, INTs and forced fumbles I'd have to say that Briggs made it in off of his recognition more so than his performance and Boley deserved it.

Mario Williams - HOU - DE
Should get the spot over: Jason Taylor

Williams’ 13 sacks is second in the NFL behind only Seattle’s Patrick Kerney. How Jason Taylor beat out Williams for the spot is beyond me. The coaches, players and fans need to seriously asses how they’re voting.

Joe Thomas - CLE - OT
Should get the spot over: Jonathan Ogden
While Ogden is a perennial fixture for the Pro Bowl he's only played in 8 games this year and Thomas has performed very much like an established veteran in both pass protection and run-blocking all season. Without Thomas, the Browns would not have their explosive passing game, Jamal Lewis would not be experiencing a career revival, and Cleveland would not be in contention to reach the postseason for the first time since 2002

Greg Jennings - GB - WR
Should get the spot over: Donald Driver

I love both players to death but I really feel like Jennings is more deserving this season - and believe me, I've watched enough of both these guys this season. While Driver has outproduced Jennings in yards, Jennings has a much higher yards-per-catch average (17.6 to Driver's 13.0) and many more touchdowns (12 to Driver's two).

Marques Colston - NO - WR
Should get the spot over : Torry Holt

No doubt Hold is having a great year with 83 rec, 1,055 yds, and 7 TDS but But I'm surprised not to see the name of the Saints' Marques Colston. After all, he is second in the conference with 87 receptions for 1,092 yards and nine touchdowns. That's better than all of the receivers chosen (Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten is first with 88 catches).

There are many other great players who you can make cases for so let me know if you feel like I missed out on any big choices in your mind. Let me know what you think of my snubs and let me know some of yours.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

College Football Bowl Predictions

This is day 2 of our bowl predictions. Enjoy...

Humanitarian Bowl
Georgia Tech vs. Fresno St.

TSF's Take: Two words: Tashard Choice

Sun Bowl
South Florida vs. Oregon

TSF's Take: Oregon hasn't been the same since the loss of Dennis Dixon and the Bulls have some impressive recent wins.

Music City Bowl
Kentucky vs. Florida St.

TSF's Take: Kentucky can beat anyone, Andre Woodson will not let his college career end in a loss.

Insight Bowl
Indiana vs. Oklahoma St.

TSF's Take: This is pretty much a toss=up, so I'll take Big 12 over Big Ten almost anyday.

Chick-fil-a Bowl
Clemson vs. Auburn

TSF's Take: Auburn has too much fire power for Clemson

Outback Bowl
Wisconsin vs. Tennesse

TSF's Take:
Another SEC Sr. QB, Erik Ainge, won't let his college career end in a loss. Tennessee's young D has stepped up and come a long ways since the beginning of the season.

Cotton Bowl
Missouri vs. Arkansas

TSF's Take:
This is a tough pick for me, really, but something tells me Darren McFadden is gonna have a huge game, especially after finishing 2nd in the Heisman race.

Gator Bowl
Texas Tech vs. Virginia

TSF's Take: I like Tech's passing game and VA has had a tough time stopping the pass at times this season.

Captial One Bowl
Florida vs. Michigan

TSF's Take: Florida is the best non-BCS Bowl team, and this young team will be flying high into 2008...

Rose Bowl
USC vs. Illinois

TSF's Take: We're seeing the USC team we'd thought we'd see at the beginning of the year right now. USC just has too much experience, talent, and coaching for the Illini.

Sugar Bowl
Hawaii vs. Georgia

TSF's Take:
Hawaii, meet Knowshon Moreno...

Fiesta Bowl
West Virginia vs. Oklahoma

TSF's Take:
Who's been more impressive than OU lately? I like the Sooners.

Orange Bowl
Kansasvs. Virginia Tech

TSF's Take:
KU doesn't even belong in a BCS Bowl. V-Tech has too much talent and depth, special teams wins it for Beamer's Hokies.

International Bowl
Rutgers vs. Ball St.

TSF's Take:
Ball St.'s in a bowl game? Ray Rice and co. roll...

Bowling Green vs. Tulsa

TSF's Take:
Tulsa is a tough, physical team with a good offense and Bowling Green lost to Minnesota...

BCS National Championship
Ohio St. vs. LSU

TSF's Take:
We will have our preview and prediction for this game in January!

What are your thoughts on the bowl games?

Friday, December 14, 2007

College Football Bowl Predictions

This is day one of 2 for TSF's Bowl predictions. Being there are 32 bowl games, we'll divide them up with two posts.

Poinsettia Bowl
Utah vs. Navy

TSF's Take:
Navy has a stellar rushing game and Utah's Defense is vulnerable but Utah is far more athletic and I have a feeling Utah will play like they did in their 44-6 win over UCLA.

New Orleans Bowl
Memphis vs. Florida Atlantic

TSF's Take:
Memphis just has more depth and talent Bowl
Southern Miss vs. Cincinnati

TSF's Take:
Cincy has had some impressive wins and they have a high octane offense.

New Mexico Bowl
Nevada vs. New Mexico

TSF's Take:
I like Nevada's poise and physicality

Las Vegas Bowl

TSF's Take:
BYU is underrated. Their offense can put up points and their defense is stellar.

Hawaii Bowl
Boise St. vs. East Carolina

TSF's Take:
Boise has way too much talent and overall experience.

Motor City Bowl
Purdue vs. Central Michigan

TSF's Take: CMU has too soft of a defense and Purdue will be able to expose that.

Holiday Bowl
Arizona St. vs. Texas

TSF's Take:
ASU doesn't have many big wins and they've folded everytime vs. big-time teams.

Champ Sports Bowl
Boston College vs. Michigan St.

TSF's Take: Matt Ryan should be the difference.

Texas Bowl
TCU vs. Houston

TSF's Take:
I like TCU's overall talent and coaching better than Houston's.

Emerald Bowl
Maryland vs. Oregon St.

TSF's Take:
Oregon St. has been impressive lately and should take down the sub-average Terrapins.

Meineke Car Care Bowl
UConn vs. Wake Forest

TSF's Take:
Wake's Offense is too much for the overrated Huskies to handle.

Liberty Bowl
UCF vs. Mississippi St.

TSF's Take:
Mississippi St. doesn't have much of an offense and UCF nearly knocked of Texas.

Alamo Bowl
Penn St. vs. Texas A&M

TSF's Take:
Texas A&M has struggled in bowls in recent years, I can't even remember the last time PSU lost a bowl game...

Independence Bowl
Alabama vs. Colorado

TSF's Take:
Nick Saban cannot afford a loss here. Alabama wants it more.

Armed Forces Bowl
California vs. Air Force

TSF's Take:
Air Force will be more prepared. Cali has dropped off the map.

Come back tomorrow night for the other 16 bowl predictions.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Atleast I Can Blog When I Have the Wind Knocked Out of Me

I wonder if The Babe knew. Everytime he rubbed his face, he was stabbing the game that he (Ruth) loved and protected in the back.

A punch in the gut is the only way that I can describe my feeling for Roger Clemens association with steroids. I hate steroids and cheating and love the game of baseball. I was very excited for the Mitchell investigation to come out because I felt like it was a necessary step to protecting the integrity of the game that we all love.

I was expecting a lot of names to be mentioned. There were a handful of names that I, in fact, really wanted to be mentioned. Roger Clemens was definitely not one of them. There were also names that I wasn't expecting at all, like Chuck Knoblach. I guess this explains his inability to throw from 2nd to 1st, and is almost humorous.

I always liked Roger Clemens. The only thing I ever had against him was the fact that he played(S) for the Yankees. I always admired his talent and renown work-ethic. This changes everything. How sad is it that the best hitter and pitcher of our generation (who could both be argued as the best all-time respectively) have both been named as users of performance-enhancing drugs? I just can't get over it. I knew Bonds would be on there and all you readers know how I feel about him and his steroid use. Now, I assume these accusations and findings are going to have to be proved in court for anything significant to happen, but just the fact that Roger Clemens has 9 pages of the report dedicated to him, including personal testaments to injecting him.

Where can baseball and baseball fans go from here? Well as a fan this certainly changes my perspective on a lot of players out there, especially Mr. Clemens. I've always felt like a large part of the blame should be pinned on Mr. Selig and MLB officials who, in the 90's, knew this was happening, but let it slide. It is true that they harbored this mess but the players chose to cheat. Whether you are a Chuck Knoblach or a Roger Clemens, you chose to cheat and to associate yourself with cheating. As a fan I'm a little upset about Mitchell's findings but I'm also very anxious to see what Mr. Selig and MLB will do about this report.

I hope that this is what turns the game around. While I am shocked and disappointed I am, in a sense, a bit relieved. This was the right thing and this was what needed to happen to protect the integrity of the game. I hope that every move from here on out is a step in the right direction.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

NBA Power Rankings

Here's TSF's NBA Power Rankings as of 12/11.

1. San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs have been impressive even without Tim Duncan. Manu Ginobli is looking to be the sixth man of the year as he scored 37 points twice in back to back wins over the Mavs and Jazz. The Spurs have been themselves lately, playing team basketball, winning, and holding opponents to 92.5 ppg, plus they're on a 5 game winning streak and have won 11 of their last 12.

2. Boston Celtics
The Celtics have just about dominated in all of their games. It seems Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen are always on their games and even if one or two of them are off, they still have the 3rd. Also, I should mention those 3 are all in the top 35 for points in the league.

3. Phoenix Suns
The Suns rank in the top 10 of the league in ppg (2), FG% (2), and spg (6). Steve Nash has been incredible once again with his 17.9 ppg and 12.3 apg.

4. Orlando Magic
Dwight Howard has been a monster and good thing he's on my fantasy team; He's 10th in the league in ppg (23.5), 2nd in FG% (.614), 1st in rpg (15.0), and 3rd in bpg (2.9). Four of the Magic's six losses are against the Pistons, Suns (2), and Spurs.

5. Utah Jazz
Utah has had no trouble scoring so far thanks to Carlos Boozer, who is averaging 25.1 ppg. Deron Williams is also an emerging top NBA PG. Big road games coming up against Phoenix and Portland.

6. Detroit Pistons
The Pistons have won 8 of the last 10 games and are shooting the ball pretty well lately. Rip Hamilton has finally found his shooting touch and this team looks like their same olf selves again. The defense has been pretty stout giving up only 91.9 ppg.

7. Dallas Mavericks
I don't really like the Mavs right now. I don't know, maybe it's because of personal reasons or maybe it's because they lack a defense... That's the question that's been barring Avery Johnson, can he get his team to play some D so they can win a title? Giving up 100.1 ppg and 45.7 FG% won't cut it in the west.

8. New Orleans Hornets
The Hornets have been a little bit of a surprise thus far. They don't give up a lot of points and they can shoot the ball pretty well. Also, I heard Chris Paul is pretty good (21.0 ppg and 9.8 apg)...

9. Los Angeles Lakers
I will give the Lakers the nod over the Nuggets because of their two wins over them. It seems Kobe's grievance for Andrew Bynum is over. As long as Kobe stays healthy, this team will be a playoff contender.

10. Denver Nuggets
Allen Iverson has been tough lately and has been scoring from all over (put up 51 on the Lakers). We all know this is a very good offensive team, but it's the defense they need to improve in order to get over the hump (102.1 PA/G).

Right around the corner...
Rockets, Warriors, and Raptors.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Happy Finals Week

It's Sunday night and I don't want to leave you hanging but I must slave away for finals this week. I'll be done by Wed. but until then I can't promise anything. Stefan and I will do our best to get at you readers. I wish all students the best of luck and ask all other readers for their patience.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Eric Berry is one of the best DBs in the nation

Back in July I did a post on "Freshman of '07". I stated Eric Berry, freshman FS for Tennessee, as a freshman to watch; here is what I said in that article about him:

"With only one returning starter in the Vols secondary back, expect Eric Berry to start from day one. He is the best cover corner in this years class and could easily be one of the top DB's in the SEC by the end of the season. You heard it at "The Sports Flow" first."

Although, I did get one part wrong, he isn't starting at corner for Tennessee, he's starting at safety. And he isn't one of the best DBs in the SEC, he's one of the best in the nation. But from my observation, Eric Berry has been a huge reason as to why Tennessee's inexperienced defense was pretty successful this season.
He is a pure talent, he can read the QB so well, he is amazing back in coverage, and can even make the big hit. He just has a knack for the ball. Reminds me a lot of a Brian Dawkins in his prime.

Berry has been such a stud coming up with key interception after key interception in pretty big games. He's also held some good WRs in check when they come across the middle of the field. Thus far he's had 5 interceptions, including a 96 yard return for a TD vs. my Florida Gators.

I have just been so impressed with this kid, I mean it is unbelievable. He has a great future in-front of him. He is just a pure play maker and I am wondering how Florida and Georgia missed out on this kid (especially GA since he's from Fairburn, GA). This kid is one of the best DBs in the country and he's only a true freshman. I am glad I still have atleast two more years (or three) to watch this kid in College Football, but it's just too bad I have to watch him play against my Florida Gators. This kid is a true talent and I guarantee you will hear more from him in the near future.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Thanks for a Reason to Care

Last Monday's game between the Ravens and the Patriots was a great game. The Ravens did fall short (by about 2 yards) but they made me care. I'll be honest, aside from watching the Packers play every week I don't really care about the NFL regular season like I should. I just get sick of seeing the Patriots on every single Sunday and Monday night games, but if nothing else Monday's game made me care.

I found myself sitting on my futon rooting for the Ravens to win. Which was weird because I thought that I didn't care. I realized that I don't really want the Patriots to go undefeated. I'm not sure why, but I just don't. However, I do really believe that they will go undefeated, although their best shot at a loss is going to be at home against the Steelers this weekend.

As far as the game goes I admit, I only tuned in for the 4th quarter, but it was well worth my time. I was very impressed with Tom Brady. He was cool, calm, and collected and I really liked how he scrambled to pick up that pivotal first down late in the game. As far as the Jabar Gaffney's winning TD goes, it was a great pass but I don't think that he had complete control of the ball before going out of bounds. However, given that the call on the field was a TD I think the right thing to do was to have the play stand because there was NOT irrefutable visual evidence in support of it being incomplete.

The complaining about the officials was a bit too much for me to handle though. The holding call late in the game was legitimate, as was the timeout that Brian Billick called was legitimate too, although not timely. While the Gaffney call was debatable the defense on him wasn't very good anyways. People are failing to realize that even if that hail mary would have gone for a TD, Kevin Dyson was all over Patriot defenders throwing them aside, so it would have been pass interference anyways.

The Ravens played their hearts out, especially on defense. They just made too many mistakes. They were penalized far too much in the game and they just unraveled at the end (especially Bart Scott - fine pending).I thought ESPN's Monday Night Football announcers were annoying again, especially Tony Kornheuser, who openly rooted for his fantasy of a Baltimore redemption.

Overall it was a great game. The Patriots are still undefeated which makes for great drama down the road and best of all....I care again!

Sorry for the lackluster review of the game but I've got to go do some studying. Let me know what you thought of the game as well as the pivotal calls made down the stretch.

Searching for Answers: Sick of the Nickname Controversy

Earlier Grittysquirrels did a post on this. He is obviously for the nickname as he attends the University of North Dakota. Me? Well I was against it for numerous reasons, but recently I read a letter to the editor in the Bismarck Tribune about the issue; it shed some new light for me and now I am neutral on the whole issue of Native American Mascots.

I am getting really sick of this dispute between all of the schools and the NCAA. We're going to be hearing about this for a long, long time, even after UND has to change their name, that's if they do to say the least.

Here's the link to the letter written to the Trib:

The letter is written by Mr. Mato Iyotaka, a member of the Standing Rock Tribe in south central North Dakota.

He brings up some valid points and some interesting remarks:
"I am also proud to say that I am a Native American, but to hear so many people making this Fighting Sioux nickname an issue makes me wonder what's really going on. Is this issue really as life-altering as some of them make it, or something else? Maybe it's a political crutch, or a reason to drop out of school because their grades aren't up to par, or maybe they've been victimized by racism sometime in their life - what better way to get some revenge? Or maybe it's as simple as they don't even know why."

The comments right there says it all. Maybe the tribes just wanted some attention? Do they really offend these people? Well, I don't know, I am not a Native American so I couldn't tell you. But maybe it's just an excuse to get away from the problems that lie on the reservations. Maybe it's nothing at all, and they just feel like they want to be a part of something, so they want something in return from these universities in order to keep the name.

"A recent meeting on the topic at the UND campus attracted 40 natives, four of whom where Sioux, so how many of us are really offended by it? Six of eight districts on our reservation voted for UND to keep the name, but our chairman choose to ignore this fact, so what does this say about his opinion of people?"

Maybe someone should tell the NCAA about this? Looks like a we have some hypocrites here, people saying UND is greedy, when in fact they don't let the people speak for themselves.

All in all, the nickname issue is being overblown and I am sick and tired of it. Why can't everyone just move along with their lives. We have murderers, rapists, illegal immigrants, a war going on, and an energy crisis going in our country, but that doesn't have as many peoples attention as this nickname issue does. But this discussion is long over due and I think it's time we focus our attention on a new set of problems.

Monday, December 3, 2007

BCS Bowl Thoughts

The BCS Bowl Matchups were announced today and I would just like to give some insight and thoughts about it.

BCS National Title Game
The title game is LSU vs. Ohio St. This is who I predicted it was going to be after yesterdays games. Ohio St. is the most deserving, yes they don't have the toughest schedule out there but from watching them this year they are a great team. Their offense is pretty explosive and they have one of the best defenses in the country. I really think LSU deserves it as well, they played a very tough schedule and won their conference. They had big wins over Virginia Tech, Florida, Auburn, Tennessee, and South Carolina.

This is a perfect opportunity for OSU to avenge their BCS Title loss to Florida last year. All they're going to hear from now till the game is how they won't be able to match up with LSU and their speed. I think because of their loss last year, the Buckeyes will be very prepared for LSU come January 7.

Hawaii vs. Georgia
First off, I am glad to see Georgia in this game, they didn't deserve to play in the title game. I've said it before and I'll say it again, you don't win your conference championship then you don't deserve to play for a national championship, and when you have a system like the BCS then that's how it should be. A second place team shouldn't be playing for first place ever, period.

As for Hawaii I am glad to see them in this game. Another opportunity to see a mid-major go against one of the BCS Boys in Georgia. Hopefully Hawaii can pull it out like Boise St. did last year.

Kansas or Missouri?
Another problem I have here is Kansas getting in over Missouri. First of all Mizzou beat the Jayhawks head to head. Yes, Kansas has one loss but their strength of schedule is 109th (119 total) and Missouri is 25th. Missouri lost only twice and both times to Oklahoma. I guess the BCS is praising wins over Florida International, SE Louisiana, and Toledo, compared to wins over Illinois, Ole Miss, and Western Michigan.
What are your thoughts on the BCS Bowl Matchups?