Monday, November 1, 2010

Ten Things JJ Thinks He Thinks

Sorry for the delay in the 10 Things this week and the Octoberless 10 things.  I had everything for this week written Sunday night except for my Georgia thoughts and Non Football-Baseball Thoughts (We need a cooler name for this portion of the Ten Things). Thus you will see no World Series commentary but come back next week for those thoughts. I know you will. Well here are the Ten Things, now that my life has slowed down some you should get this Monday mornings for the foreseeable future. As always your comments are appreciated and if you know anyone else who would enjoy reading this awesome column let me know. Also, it is really November already?

1. Georgia Thoughts
No clue at all where to begin with this game. I do know that if Aaron Murray hadn't picked this game to look like a freshman, Georgia wins. If Murray had played in the first half as he did in the second, Georgia wins. If Murray had been able to get the ball to Orson Charles, who went largely uncovered all day, before UGA was down 21-7, Georgia probably wins. If the Bulldogs don't lose the turnover battle four to one, Georgia wins. If Georgia scoops up Burton's first half fumble, it's a much different game at the least.

Nonetheless, we never catch these guys when they have key guys out, the way Mississippi State caught them; they invariably catch us at the most inopportune times (i.e., during the one game D.J. Shockley was injured in 2005). For crying out loud, Florida benefited from its own false start penalties, which erased positive Georgia plays on more than one occasion in a game in which the Orange and Blue were penalized nine times to the Bulldogs’ two.

The folks who say we should move the Georgia-Florida game are right, but the change should be a chronological one, not a geographic one. The Bulldogs are 8-14 all-time against the Gators in October and 39-26-2 against them in November. We don’t need the game to be nearer; we need it to be later. We also need to get the Gators out of head as this years version of the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party was more mental than physical. Until we can get over the mental issue that is the Florida Gators the Georgia program will never get to the place that it needs to be.

I am still sick to my stomach by the way.

2. College Football Thoughts
a. In last 8 games, TCU's D has given up 57 points. In 8 quarters yesterday, Auburn and Oregon gave up 63 points.
b.Oregon's remaining opponents 18-14 (56 win pct) easier than TCU (58), Boise (63), Auburn (64) and Utah (65) which is most difficult.
c.Boise's top opponents left are Hawaii (7-2) and Nevada (7-1); while Auburn will have to deal with UGA (4-5), Ala (7-1) and SEC title game
d. I do have to think that 4-5 UGA is better than 7-2 Hawaii and 7-1 Nevada. With that being said I do think Nevada is a pretty good football team.
e.The Hawkeyes' win over Michigan St throws the Big Ten/Rose Bowl race into chaos. Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio State and Michigan State all have one conference loss, with the Badgers having beaten the Buckeyes and Hawkeyes but lost to the Spartans. Iowa will play Ohio State on Nov. 20, which will eliminate one contender, but a three-way tie is entirely possible, and the tiebreaker could be infinitely complicated.
f. How do I get the feeling that someway somehow Ohio State will find its way to the Rose Bowl. They always do. Hopefully that will not be the case this season.
g. Speaking of Iowa-Michigan State, I thought Iowa could beat Sparty but I did not see a 37-6 beat down coming. Even more impressive was the rushing yards discrepancy which had Iowa out-gaining Michigan State 162 to 31.
h. Am I the only that is shocked to see Baylor leading the Big XII South on November 1st? What about 4-4 Texas? Who would have thought this week's Baylor-Oklahoma State game this weekend would be so huge? How big potentially is Oklahoma-Oklahoma State later this month? It could be bedlam.
i. Crazy things seem to happen in the Big XII South don't they?
j. Speaking of crazy things who wold have thought we would see the day when a Conference USA team would go into South Bend and beat the Irish. Notre Dame who are 4-5 still has to play Top Ten Utah and travel to the coliseum and play USC. The midle game between those two is a trip to the Bronx to play Army at the new Yankee Stadium. This team is looking more and more like a 5-7 team.
k. Five runners went over 100 yards Saturday in the SEC. Four of the five are freshmen (M. Dyer, M. Lattimore, Jeff Scott & Trey Burton). The 5th is a Junior College transfer (Vick Ballard).
l. I need to watch more games and highlight shows to have more thoughts.

3. NFL Thoughts
a. Was Sunday's early games the worst set of games the league has given us in a while?
b. Brandon Lloyd is 1st player in 20+ years & 6th since '70 w 800 rec yards in 1st 8 games & 20+ yards per catch avg
c. On Sunday Jets RB LaDainian Tomlinson has joined Hall of Famer Walter Payton as only RBs ever with 13,000 rush yards & 4,000 receiving yards.
d. San Fransico & Denver are only clubs to face NFL opponent in 6 different countries outside the US. This does include preseason.
e. Jaguars are 21-4 when David Garrard has 100+ passer rating. He finished with rating of 157.8 versus the Cowboys on Sunday.
f. The Cowboys have their first four-game losing streak since 2002. They are also 0-4 at home this season and 6-6 overall at the $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium.
g. Things are real bad in Dallas and it is bad when the win less Bills play harder than the Cowboys at home with a backup quarterback. The Cowboys have a Bye Week this week before traveling to Green Bay in two weeks, then at NY Giants, then home to Dallas and New Orleans (Thanksgiving). December brings a trip to Indy, home versus Philly and Washington, then end the year at Arizona and Philly. Does Dallas win two more games?
h. Sam Bradford is only rookie QB selected No. 1 overall to win 4 of 1st 5 home starts since 1967, the first year of the common draft.
i. Raiders have won past 2 games by combined 75 points. Last time they accomplished that was 1967.
j. Chiefs running back Thomas Jones has run for 500 yards for 5 different teams.
k.Not all is bad for winless Buffalo. Steve Johnson tied a Buffalo record with a touchdown in five straight games. Ryan Fitzpatrick's touchdown pass gave him an eight-game streak, the longest by a Bills quarterback since 2002. It was the third time in Bills history they played back-to-back overtime games.
l. Good Question...who is Steve Johnson. He was the Bills 7th round pick in 2008. Johnson started out Chabot College in Hayward, California from 2004–2006. He then transferred to the University of Kentucky playing wide receiver.
m.Why is Chan Gailey coaching the NFL?
n. The Bills are the 4th team in NFL history to lose on the road in overtime in consecutive weeks The others: 2009 Steelers Nov. 22-29 1986 Steelers Nov. 23-30 1983 Bears Sept. 18-25
o. The Chiefs become the 5th team in NFL history to win a game with 0:00 left in overtime. The last time it happened was 1994.
p.I watched a lot of the New England-Minnesota game and while Minnesota dominated the first half you never we worried about the Patriots espically with the scored tied 7-7 at the half. Brady won his 25th consecutive home game as a starter, tying him with Favre for the record. The Patriots improved to 3-5 on Halloween, and 1-0 against the NFC this year. The Vikings are 0-3 against the AFC this season.
q. For those that are Fantasy Football players these stats are for you: Nine different Vikings caught passes. Green-Ellis scored for the fifth straight game. Peterson has six of Minnesota's seven rushing TDs this season.
r. Since starting last season 6-0, the Broncos have lost 13 of their last 17 games. During their 6-0 start in '09, the Denver defense allowed just 11 points and 262.5 yards per game - and had 21 sacks. Since: 26.9 points per game and just 27 sacks in almost 3 times as many games.
s. Why was Rex Grossman in for the Redskins Two-Minute drill? If I owned the Redskins Shannahan would not get off the plane with his job because that was inexcusable. That was a bad message he sent his team about McNabb.
t. Detroit has four wins since the start of last season and two of them are against the Redskins. They also scored 23 4th quarter points to beat the Skins. The Lions have now scored at least 30 points in three games this season after scoring 30 just once in the 2008 and 2009 seasons combined. The Lions are not far from being good.

4. Baseball Thoughts
a. I saw these stats about cycles a couple weeks ago and became really intrigued. There have been 231Cycles completed since 1920. In that same time period there have been some cycle near misses. Here are how the near misses break down - 1B short 424, 2B short 1,604, 3B short 12,140, HR short 4,587.
b.There are only two current major league teams that have not had a player hit for the cycle: the San Diego Padres and Florida Marlins. No player has ever hit for the cycle in a post-season game.
c. The rarity of hitting for the cycle is reflected in the fact that of the ten players who have had 3,000 career hits and 300 career home runs, only four have ever hit for the cycle: Carl Yastrzemski, Dave Winfield, George Brett and Stan Musial.
d. The Pirates have hit for the cycle 23 times which is the most in MLB. The Giants/Yankees are tied for second with 22 cycles a piece.
e. On July 16, 2010, Bengie Molina became the first catcher in MLB history to hit for the cycle and hit a grand slam in the same game. The feat was in itself unexpected as Molina (known for his lack of baserunning ability) had only five triples in his career prior to his cycle.
f. Only once since 1957 has a player had the minimum of 4 plate appearances and hit for the natural cycle: Brad Wilkerson on June 24, 2003 for the Expos versus the Pirates.
g.Five players in MLB history have completed a cycle with a walk-off home run: Ken Boyer (1961), César Tovar (1972) George Brett (1979), Dwight Evans (1984) and Carlos González (2010).
h. Throughout MLB baseball history there have been 291 cycles. For comparison sake there have been 269 no hitters.
i. Ranger pitcher Tommy Hunter gone after 4 innings last night. He's 4th pitcher to go 4 or shorter 3 straight postseason starts. Others: Mercker ('99), Show ('84) Kenny Rogers ('96)
j. Hunter did not have his first swing and a miss until the 79th pitch last night.
k.Madison Bumgarner never walked a lead off hitter in any big-league start this year. So of course he walked leadoff hitter Sunday night on 4 pitches.
l. I think it is safe to say Johnathan Sanchez is tired. On Saturday, he was never clocked at higher than 91 mph, and had his 2nd-worst velocity of the season.
m. I do not think we can knock Sanchez as he has thrown 45 more innings this year compared to last season.
n. The question becomes what happens if this series hits a 7th game, does Sanchez start again.
o. The shattering of maple bats seems to be a continuing problem, but I read this week, the number of instances was down some 30 percent this season from 2009
p. Speaking of Sanchez, his ERA has decreased each of the last three seasons — 5.01, 4.24, and 3.07 — as his walk totals have increased — 75, 88, and a league-leading 96 this season.
q. Tampa Bay Ray Carlos Pena finished with 95 hits, only 49 of which were singles.
r.  The San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers combine for 16 foreign-born players, matching the all-time high for a World Series set in 2003 (Florida vs. New York Yankees) and 2007 (Colorado vs. Boston)
s. The 16 players hail from the Dominican Republic (8 – Santiago Casilla; Nelson Cruz; Neftali Feliz; Vladimir Guerrero; Guillermo Mota; Alexi Ogando; Ramon Ramirez; and Juan Uribe); Puerto Rico (4 – Javier Lopez; Bengie Molina; Jonathan Sanchez; and Andres Torres); Venezuela (3 – Elvis Andrus; Andres Blanco; and Pablo Sandoval); and Colombia (1 – Edgar Renteria).
t.To highlight how the landscape has changed over the years, foreign-born players in the World Series did not hit double-digits until 1993 when there were 10 and as late as 1989 and 1990 there were but 3. The last time there were no foreign-born players on a World Series roster was 1953.

5. A Look Back-My MLB Predictions
If you want to take look back at my preseason projections you can by clicking here. However, I will give you the highlights. I had Atlanta, Philly, St. Louis, and Colorado making the playoffs in the NL. In the AL I had the Yankees, Tampa, Minnesota, and Seattle. In my opinion 5 of the 8 playoff teams is average. The Seattlem pick was awful and I bought into Felix Hernandez and Cliff Lee without acknowledging a lineup that had Casey Kotchman hitting clean-up. I both the NL and AL East I had the Wild Card and Division winners flip-flopped. I also had a Braves-Rays World Series. It has to be mentioned that the teams that eliminated the Braves and Rays are currently playing in the World Series.

I also questioned why the Giants did not make a bigger run at Jason Bay or Matt Holliday. Who would have thought Aubrey Huff would have been so good for them. My projections for MVP, Cy Young, Comeback Player of The Year, etc were AWFUL. On a side note how good did my Troy Glaus Comeback Player of The Year pick look in mid June. Also, how good was I predicting the record of the Washington Nationals?

This weeks songs that Smoak and myself rocked out to this weekend while road trippin to Jacksonville includes Miranda Lambert's The House That Built Me. The second song from this weekend is about as far from Miranda Lambert as you could get. The second song is "We Be Steady Mobbin" by Lil Wayne and Gucci Mane. Be careful with the adult language if played at work.

Just as FYI, trivia will return next week.

6. Way To Early SEC Bowl Thoughts
a. As the calendar turns to November it will be interesting to see how some of the bowl projections play out. Normally you have to be 6-6 to be considered eligible but this season there is the chance there will not be enough .500 teams so some 5-7 teams might find themselves playing a bowl game.

b. I told you this year has been crazy in college football.

c. The SEC has ties in with a BCS Bowl, Capital One, Cotton, Outback, Gator, Chick-fil-a, Music City, Liberty and Birmingham Bowls. Do not forget there is an a great chance that ethier Auburn or Alabama might play in the BCS Championship game allowing the loser of the Bama-Auburn game to make an at-large BCS game.

d. If this scenerio happens the SEC will have 10 bowl spots, not the question becomes will they have 10 teams with the required 6 wins. So far there are 6 SEC bowl teams eligible and this includes Auburn, Bama, Arkansas, Mississippi St, LSU and South Carolina. The Gators have 5 wins with upcoming games at Vandy, home versus App St, home versus South Carolina and at FSU. You have to think they get atleast 1 win.

e. Georgia is 4-5 with games at home against Idaho State and Georgia Tech with a trip to the Auburn on the plains in two weeks. The question becomes can they beat Georgia Tech or Auburn. I know Tech lost to Kansas so Georgia should and I mean should beat Tech.

f. Ole Miss is currently 3-5 with games against Louisiana-Lafayette, at Tennessee, at LSU and home to Mississippi State. Does Johnny Rebel go 3-1. I do not see it but 5-7 is a real possibility.

g. Vandy is 2-6 and has to beat Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee and Wake Forest to become bowl eligible. If they can upset Kentucky 5-7 is a real possibility with potential wins over Tennessee and Wake Forest.

h. Kentucky is currently 4-5 with contests remaining with Charleston Southern, Vandy and Tenn. So I do think the Cats will get to 6 wins.

i. Tennessee is 2-6 and needs to win at Memphis, home versus Ole Miss, at Vandy and home versus Kentucky. Do the Vols get to 6-6? It would take a miracle. I think they lose to Vandy and Kentucky but 5-7 is not out of the picture.
j. This is how I project the bowls:
BCS Championship: Alabama
Sugar: Auburn
Capital One: South Carolina
Cotton: Mississippi State
Outback: Arkansas
Gator: LSU
Chick-fil-A: Florida
Music City: Georgia
Liberty: Kentucky
Birmingham: ??????
k. Chris Lowe who blogs the SEC for ESPN projects the SEC bowls like this. Mark Schlabach and Andrea Adelson also do Bowl Projections for the Mothership.
l. Who is in for a trip to Nashville on December 30th?

7. NFL Power 5

1.New England Patriots-This team is unreal the way the do business. So smart and efficient.
2.Indianapolis Colts- Did you really think #18 would be affected by all the injuries.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers- Despite loss in New Orleans still one of the best teams in football.
4. New York Jets- Getting shut out at home by the Packers following a Bye was bad, real bad.
5. Atlanta Falcons- Hard to believe with a win over Tampa on Sunday they can take control of the NFC South.

8. College Power 5

1. Oregon- The 53 points scored against USC on Saturday were the most ever scored by Oregon against USC.
2. Auburn- Mike Dyer continued to establish himself as the Tigers' go-to back, rushing 21 times for a career-high 180 yards and a touchdown.
3. Boise St-Tough for me to take Boise serious when they play on Tuesday night.
4. TCU- When TCU @ Utah is the game I am looking forward to the most is a sure sign this is one crazy college football season.
5.Alabama- The tide probably have November's toughest schedule with games at LSU, and home games versus Mississippi State, Georgia State and Auburn.

9. What I Read This Week

Two reads for your weekly enjoment. The first one comes from a Sports Illustrated article from 1989 and discusses how teams allocate money from the playoffs. Very intriguing considering the same games are still being played today except there are a few more zero's involved but not that much more.

The second read comes from Vanity Fair and is an excerpt from Bill Carter's new book The War For Late Night. The story looks at a behind-the-scenes story of late night tv's explosive 2010 between Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien. If I was smart enough I would take this story and write a movie on it. It is that good.

10. Non Football or Baseball Related Thoughts
a. Franceour says his favorite Halloween costume is a cheerleading uniform. What does that even mean?
b. UGA Basketball begins Friday night November 12th. I have season tickets so pick a game and email me and maybe you will find yourself riding with me to Athens for some hoops. Just a note those that sign up for garbage games in November and December get priority come SEC play in January and February. Just saying.
c. I went and watched the movie Due Date on Monday night. Very funnny as both Robert Downey and Zach Galifinakis are hilarious. Not as funny as The Hangover but what it?
d. I have also seen Stone and it was not half as good as Due Date. Nonetheless, Ed Norton was awesome like always. The rest of the movie was not that good.
e.As far as television shows go the Roomdog and myself are so far behind it is not even funny. We have seen the first episode of Boardwalk Empire and have about 6 episodes to catch up on. The first episode was awesome and I have only heard good things in following episodes.
f. We just finished the first season of Eastbound and Down and will start on Season 2 soon. That show is out of control. So funny and inappropriate.
g. A couple of weeks ago I drove up to Kentucky for the Dawgs and Cats which turned out to be an awesome weekend. First I got to see Evan which is always a good thing.
h. The second great thing about my trip to the bluegrass was a visit to Keeneland. No trip to Lexington should go without a visit to the track. You have the beautiful horses, the beautiful track and the beautiful women. No better way to spend a day.
i.Who is interested in going to Athens Friday night for some Kinchafoonee Cowboys? Let me know.
j. Whoever can come up with a cool name for this portion of 10 Things will win a prize of some sort.

Quote of The Week (From Last Week)
Come from Clemson coach Dabo Swinney after 10 of his players got stuck in their elevator on the way to the pregame meal on Saturday morning.

“I told the guys to calm down, if we can get 33 miners out of a shaft in Chile we can get 10 football players out of an elevator in Anderson, SC."

On a side note is there really a Division I head football coach with the name Dabo?

Qoute of The Week
From Giants reliever Javier Lopez after the Giants won the World Series "We can shave!"

Tweet of The Week
Like usual we have Eric Stangel to thank for the Tweet of The Week

Congratulations to Celine Dion, who gave birth to twins. Hopefully the crying will drown out her singing...

Picture of The Week
Charles Woodson, Ryan Leaf and Peyton Manning hanging out before the 1997 NFL Draft....Peyton, where's your belt? Photo comes from SI Vault.

1 comment:

  1. I believe the Big Ten tiebreaker would be BCS standings in the event of a 3 way tie... so if Wisconsin wins out, they should easily end up as the best Big 10 team in the BCS and qualify for the Rose Bowl Berth.

    minor correction.... Dallas Cowboys play Green Bay next week.... not... bye week and then Green Bay.

    -The RoomDawg